GOP retreats on debt ceiling, comes up with another unconstitutional plan

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The Tea-Publican economic terrorists holding America hostage and threatening to destroy the economy and the full faith and credit of the United States came away from their weekend retreat with a new plan: they will not kill the hostage — for now. POLITICO reported House Republicans plan debt ceiling vote:

House Republicans will vote next week on a bill that would raise the
nation’s debt ceiling for three months and stop pay for members of
Congress if the Senate doesn’t pass a budget, GOP officials said Friday.

The
plan comes as GOP lawmakers across the country signal that they should
not use the debt ceiling to try to extract concessions on spending from
President Barack Obama, especially as the president’s approval ratings
far outpace those of congressional Republicans.

It’s also a shift from House Speaker John Boehner, who has previously
demanded spending cuts to match any debt ceiling hike. But Boehner
isn’t retreating on the debt ceiling without conditions; He’s framing
this as a way to force Senate Democrats to lay out a budget, which they
haven’t done for three years.

Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated they were
pleased the GOP is moving towards action on the debt ceiling, but didn’t
endorse Boehner’s plan.

“The president has made clear that Congress has only two options: pay
the bills they have racked up, or fail to do so and put our nation into
default,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. “We are
encouraged that there are signs that congressional Republicans may back
off their insistence on holding our economy hostage to extract drastic
cuts in Medicare, education and programs middle class families depend
on. Congress must pay its bills and pass a clean debt limit increase
without further delay.”

By conceding that they are not really willing to kill the hostage and be blamed by the American public for the chaos that would follow, the Tea-Publican economic terrorists have surrendered any leverage they claimed to have ("chaos theory") — it's not a real threat if you are unwilling to actually kill the hostage. Advantage to Obama.

But the latest GOP Gimmicks-R-Us plan, to withhold congressional pay if the Senate does not pass a budget to the Tea-Publicans' liking, is also not a real threat because what they are proposing is as unconstitutional as their threat to default on the full faith and credit of the United States. The Republican Debt Ceiling Gambit Is Unconstitutional:

According to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), the bill will
also contain a provision cutting off congressional pay unless both
houses meet a particular milestone: “If the Senate or House fails to
pass a budget in that time, members of Congress will not be paid by the
American people for failing to do their job. No budget, no pay.”

Before Cantor gets too excited about this plan, however, he may want to familiarize himself with the Twenty-Seventh Amendment to the Constitution:

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

There is no election between now and three-months from now, so no law
that would cut off congressional pay can take effect then. The
Constitution is very clear on this point.

So the Tea-Publican economic terrorists still have no leverage. Advantage to Obama.

UPDATE: Sen. Chuck Schumer says "I'll see your silly bet and raise you." Senate Democrats plan to draft a budget blueprint that calls for
significantly higher taxes on the wealthy, oil and gas companies and
corporations doing business overseas, reopening a battle over taxes
Republicans had hoped to lay to rest with the “fiscal cliff.” Senate Democrats’ budget plan will reopen battle over taxes:

Democrats see the budget process as “a great opportunity” to pursue
additional tax increases — and to create a fast-track process to push
them through the Senate, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday on
NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“There’s going to have to be some spending cuts, and those will be
negotiated,” Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, said in an
interview after the show. “But doing a budget is the best way for us to
get revenues.”

That puts the GOP in the position of filibustering the Senate budget that they are demanding as part of their Tea Party temper tantrum. Oh wait! They can't. Under budget reconciliation rules, the budget plan is not subject to a filibuster, and could pass the chamber with 51 votes. Advantage to Obama.

Comments are closed.