Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The latest GOP Gimmicks-R-Us Shop gimmick is to suspend the debt limit, rather than raise it, until May 18th. This will get a vote tomorrow in the House, on the theory that this will be easier for Tea-Publicans to support than an actually hiking debt ceiling, even though this will functionally have the same effect. Greg Sargent reports on the GOP's self-delusion. Keep letting Boehner twist in the wind:
Ezra Klein and Steve Benen make the crucial substantive point that if we can suspend the debt ceiling temporarily, we should suspend it permanently, to prevent this kind of brinksmanship from going wrong and wreaking economic havoc in the future.
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It’s hard to imagine House Republicans won’t be able to get the votes to pass this extension, but really, at this point, it’s impossible to be prepared for what they’ll do. This could be seen by House conservatives as yet another cave — one coming after the fiscal cliff surrender — and this time, Republicans get absolutely nothing in exchange for backing down. So who knows.
And so here’s how this could unfold:
1) Dems let Boehner come up with the votes himself, to keep him twisting in the wind. Dems who want to vote against this can do so; those who want to support it will remain quiet for now, to force Boehner to get it done himself. If Boehner gets the votes, we’re out of trouble, and the fight moves on to the sequester and the government shutdown. If he doesn’t, then he’ll pull the bill, and that gives Dems even more leverage. Which will mean that…
2) Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid will then be forced to negotiate their own deal on a debt ceiling hike, perhaps even a long term one, or on the McConnell provision, which effectively transfers authority to the president.
3) McConnell could decide not to filibuster the deal he reaches with Reid, kicking it back to Boehner. Or he could filibuster it while quietly signaling to a handful of Republicans that they might go ahead and join Dems in breaking the filibuster. That way he can continue fulminating against Obama debt limit tyranny while quietly letting his caucus slip out of its jam.
4) Either way, the deal reached by Reid and McConnell — even if it’s long term, or if it’s the McConnell provision — gets kicked back to Boehner. With the business community coming down on him hard, and with the deadline looming, he allows a vote on it. Whereupon it passes the House with mostly Dem support.
The White House was cool to Boehner’s latest maneuver today, but didn’t rule out supporting it if there’s no other way out. So the strategy continues to be: If Republicans want to threaten havoc to the economy to get their way, it’s their problem.
The GOP is having a very bad year so far.