GOP retreat is complete: House passes debt limit ‘suspension’ gimmick


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The Washington Post reports, House votes to suspend debt limit until May:

A measure to suspend the nation’s legal limit on borrowing for nearly
four months cleared a key vote in the House Wednesday, as Republicans
broadly endorsed a new tactic that would temporarily remove the threat
of a potentially calamitous government default from their ongoing fight
with Democrats over government spending.

The measure, which would set aside the legal debt ceiling and
allow the government to borrow as needed to meet spending obligations
through May 18, was adopted on a 285 to 144 vote.

[The measure only passed because some Democrats joined Republicans in
support. The 199 Republicans who backed the bill, while representing a
majority of the GOP caucus, fell short of the 218 needed to ensure

Just before the vote, Democratic leaders in the Senate said they would accept the House measure
without changes and a Senate vote is expected as soon as next week. And
the White House, too, has said President Obama will not stand in the
way of the bill.

Opposition came from 33 Republican conservatives who said it was a
mistake for the GOP to give up its most potent point of leverage in
forcing Democrats to reduce spending.

One hundred and eleven
Democrats also voted against the measure because they said the
short-term fix would allow uncertainty to hover over a still-fragile

They also said Republicans should not attach conditions
to a bill that would allow the government to borrow money to meet
obligations it has already incurred.

The GOP’s measure would
impose a new requirement on Congress, key to winning support from a
broad range of their own members: Both chambers of Congress must adopt a
budget by April 15, as required by law, or have their congressional pay
withheld until the start of the new Congress in 2015.

Yeah, that last part violates the 27th Amendment to the Constitution and is entirely unconstitutional, not that these geniuses care. Tea-Publicans are rallying around their Gimmicks-R-Us shop slogan, “No Budget, No Pay.” Funny, that's usually "no work, no pay," and the "less-than-do-nothing" Tea-Piublican 112th Congress worked fewer days than any Congress in recent American history. Maybe the GOP would like to return their unearned pay?

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said Wednesday
that her panel will, indeed, move to draft a budget blueprint this
year, confirming a similar pledge made by Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), the
Senate’s third ranking Democrat, on Sunday.

* * *

Schumer said that would mean a budget that would pair spending cuts with higher tax revenues.

Screenshot-18A Senate budget that would include higher taxes would sharply clash with a
House plan that will be advanced later this year by [the GOP's alleged boy genius, Rep. Paul] Ryan, chairman of
the House Budget Committee [he and his budget were soundly rejected by voters in the November election.]

[Ryan] has promised House conservatives a
budget proposal that would balance within the next decade. That would
likely require severe cuts, far deeper even than the budgets that he has
proposed for the past two years [in his Roadmap For America's Ruin budget], already slammed by Democrats for their
sharp spending reductions and their overhaul of Medicare. [Ryan's previous budget] plans each took nearly 30 years to balance the budget.

It's time for the GOP to put an end to its economic terrorism taking the debt ceiling hostage and threatening to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States. Ezra Klein's Wonkblog has two good posts on this subject: Suspending the debt ceiling is a great idea. Let's do it forever!, and Want to get rid of the debt ceiling forever? Join the club.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.