Politics

House GOP for suspending the debt ceiling

House GOP for suspending the debt ceiling

Raising the debt ceiling is a lot of political hard work.  So is opposing such an increase.  So why not “compromise” and just ignore the crazy thing for a while?  That’s what The Hill tells us House Republicans are contemplating:

House Republicans on Monday unveiled legislation that will suspend the debt ceiling until mid-May, setting the stage for a floor vote as soon as Wednesday.

The House Rules Committee posted the text of the legislation as Washington prepared for President Obama’s second inauguration. In addition to preventing default, the bill would withhold members’ pay if Congress fails to pass a budget by April 15.

[...] While past measures to address the debt limit have simply increased the borrowing cap, the House bill would actually suspend the debt limit until May 19. On that date, the debt limit would be automatically increased from $16.4 trillion to accommodate Treasury’s borrowing beyond the $16.4 trillion cap.

The arrangement provides some political cover for Republican lawmakers, since they will not be required to vote for a specific dollar amount that could be used against them in campaign ads.

So nobody will actually be pinned to a vote for, or against, raising the debt ceiling.  They’ll just let a pile of debt accumulate, and drop a flimsy “ceiling” on top of it later.  Washington fiddles with the fine points of messaging and political accountability, while an appalling crisis gets worse.

In fairness to House Republicans, the American electorate forced them into such tiddlywinks measures by refusing to play like grown-ups.  The bit about “not paying” members of Congress because they failed to carry out their essential duties is mostly posturing for the low-information voters, too:

House Republican leaders have billed their measure as “no budget, no pay.” But the bill would not actually eliminate pay for members of Congress if there is no budget in place by April 15. Rather, if a chamber of Congress fails to pass a budget by April 15, all income earned by members of that chamber would be set aside. Members would receive that pay in full once a budget is passed, or on the final day of the 113th Congress at the end of 2014.

This arrangement was struck as a way to avoid running afoul of the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that no law varying the compensation of members of Congress can take effect until a new Congress is in place — members cannot vote to give themselves raises or pay cuts.

Remember, Harry Reid and Barack Obama are actually violating the law by failing to produce budgets on time.  But it’s not a “law law,” like the kind of laws we little folk are expected to live under.  Compare that little delayed-payroll slap on the wrist, which probably won’t pass anyway, to the “tax penalty” you’ll pay for failing to comply with ObamaCare.

It’s always been a sham to let Washington spend gigantic amounts of money it doesn’t have, whether or not the process is accompanied by some vague written “budget.”  It’s increasingly clear that the minimal fiscal restraint implied by the “debt ceiling” is a sham too.  The last thing anyone seems to want to use a debt-ceiling encounter for is the express purpose of the procedure: a time of sober reflection about government insolvency.  In fairness, it’s not a system that was expected to undergo $2 or $3 trillion stress tests with mind-numbing frequency.

The debt-ceiling suspension is meant to provide time for careful debate, and room for Republicans to reach voters with a message about the wild, arrogant irresponsibility of big-spending Democrats.  It also gives President Obama a few months to repeat his needling about how he’ll take the power for unlimited spending, if House Republicans are unwilling to exercise restraint.  It was awfully considerate of the GOP to reschedule the showdown for a month after Tax Day.

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  • Wxcynic

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  • ritaxednorep

    Yes! Complete unrestrained spending! No budgets! No ceiling! No limits! Let the party begin!

  • Altosackbuteer

    There is a REASON why the Republicans have a majority. The REASON to have a majority IS TO USE IT. If the Republicans won’t use their majority to block Øbama’s insanities — then why bother having one? Why should the voters vote Republican if the Republicans won’t ACT “Republican”?
    ***
    It would have been better if the Republcans had become the minority in 2012, rather than in 2014 — which is their destiny in any event.

  • Altosackbuteer

    And the vaunted “penalty” the Republicans propose to put on congressional pay isn’t a penalty at all — it’s a DEFERRAL. Because, come what else may be, everybody will be paid, at least on the last day of the current Congress. It basically amounts to a forced SAVINGS program.
    ***
    What’s NEXT? What does the Republican majority propose next to “punish” the Democrats for spending profligacy? Telling them that nobody can use air-conditioning in their offices in July for 15 minutes from midnight until 12:15 a.m.?

  • http://www.facebook.com/nrkidder Nat Kidder

    Can’t the Republicans get any kind of consideration for raising the debt ceiling? How about budget cuts to government agencies — like the Department of Labor — that act as the enforcement arm of the Obama agenda?

  • Guest

    you’ll pay for failing to comply with ObamaCare.http://www.Get73dollareveryhourontheinternet.com.qr.net/jWH1/0,,20665981,00/mansion-america-39-s

  • Reno Rivera

    One thing is certain, both the eunuch Republicans in congress and B. Osama are running out of revenue tricks. So is the Federal Reserve.

    It’s revenue they need and both are in agreement of the methods of obtaining it.

    The continuous same trick of debt will no longer work and neither is this old plan of taxing us more. Boehner helped B.Osama again last month and is helping him again.

    It will bite the both of them in the rear very soon. Unfortunately, it will cost America a lot of unhappy days.

  • LoneWolf

    Per Obama: “By the end of this decade, the interest we owe on our debt could rise to nearly $1 trillion. Just the interest payments. Then, as the Baby Boomers start to retire and health care costs continue to rise, the situation will get even worse. By 2025, the amount of taxes we currently pay will only be enough to finance our health care programs, Social Security, and the interest we owe on our debt. That’s it. Every other national priority – education, transportation, even national security – will have to be paid for with borrowed money.”  

    Since we already can’t afford to pay 40% of our bills, we are spending 40% too much.  Washington needs to make the tough decisions they are paid for …. and CUT.

  • confedgal

    I just wrote the following letter to my congressperson. I suggest that everyone here do the same.

    I just read there will be a vote on Wednesday on whether or not to suspend the debt ceiling. I am so tired of those in the government who cannot control themselves and their spending. It amazes me that they seem to think that money grows on trees. As a family, my husband and I have to be careful and not spend more than he earns. We are lucky that he is well paid but that does not mean we can spend more than we can pay without consequences. Neither can congress. The difference is if my husband and I spend more than we can afford then it only affects our family. When congress spends more than they can afford, it affects the whole nation. My husband cannot go and tell his bosses that he needs more money because he cannot control himself, yet that is what congress and this president continues to do.

    This president and his fellow democrats (and I am ashamed to say some republicans) are acting like teenagers with a credit card who believes they will never have to pay the bill. Since they are acting like children it is time to treat them as such and cut up the credit card. Please vote NO on either raising or suspending the debt ceiling.

  • cliff2008

    The GOP is treating us like the stupid sobs that we are—-12 votes against Boehner as Speaker. What a good job we did sending real conservatives to DC.

  • Altosackbuteer

    Why should Øbama Øsama give the inept, impotent Republican House a damned thing?

  • pay day

    Stupid Americans! As usual so self absorbed they think they can PRINT MONEY without lïmit…without consequence! Stupid American press telling stupid Americans that the debt ceiling doesnt matter…print trillion $$$ coins B.S.

    Here is what the debt limit is for: to signal to American bondholders that there is a limit to how much money Stupid American government will spend (aka. A LIMiT to the amount of currency debasement so bondholders get paid back)

    If Congress/Senate/President ignore the debt, then bondholders will do it for them. Take a look at the BRIC nations already by-passing the American $ in trade enmasse. Stupid American FED already purchasing 70% of its own phoney baloney treasuries…once it reaches 100 % WATCH OUT! Critical mass will havebeen reached. Then the American dollar will go the way of the dodo bird.

  • jwebsmall

    70% of the U.S. treasury debt is now purchased by the Federal Reserve. Do away with the debt ceiling and that figure will rise suddenly above 90% and the dollar will become a legal fiction.

  • Sun Rising

    This is irresponsible. Look for defcit spending to skyrocket if this is passed. It is giving the most corrupt body on earth a blank check for 4 and a half months!
    It is like, the choices are hard, so we wont make choices. Lets give EVERYONE EVRYTHING to satisfy the depravity in DC.

  • Truthplez

    Every commenter should contact their Republican congressperson today and inform them the TEAPARTY American people are watching their vote on raising the debt ceiling. There is no acceptable response, except what the Republicans promised: cut spending, no raise in the debt ceiling. The suggestion that we “suspend” the debt ceiling is equivalent of a two-year old bullying his parent to buy her a ?? or “I will lay on the floor and kick and scream” act. DO NOT CAVE IN! NO raise in the debit ceiling – you promised! No exceptions, no compromises – we did that all ready! Everyone who votes to “suspend” the debt ceiling is a traitor to your service as an elected official. Do NOT raise the debt ceiling. Implement the spending cuts; BO had little adralin flow when he cut our Defense Spending, and tacked on a 2% tax on the dying breath of Social Security. If he can be that brave, how can you lie to your voters and welch on NO RAISING THE DEBT CEILING!

  • Nubian

    John and his mind reading machine is out again. Obama has never said anything about “unlimited” spending. In fact, he has passed bills about limiting spending and talked about it often. But I’m sure everyone knows that John’s mind reading machine is more reliable than actions and words.

  • abc2xyz

    The House Rules Committee posted the text of the
    legislation as Washington prepared for President Obama’s second
    inauguration. In addition to preventing default, the bill would withhold members’ pay if Congress fails to pass a budget by April 15.”

    As a token of appreciation, Obama will give Boehner a dozen of handkerchiefs engraved “BO” .
    Good job Mr. Boehner…. what’s next ?

  • globalcrap

    You wonder when O Bogus ,will put a limit on his multi million dollar vacations,payed for by the working tax payer.

  • Joe_Farnakle

    Why not? Because then the government starts to default on its obligations, and becomes unable to pay its bills. This is not about future spending, it’s about spending already incurred. The credit card bills coming due for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and everything else. It’s about money already spent and paying the bills. If the government defaults, I guarantee there will be a credit downgrade, along with increased interest costs to the government, and there will be economic fallout as a result. It’s the height of fiscal irresponsibility for the GOP to allow the government to default on its obligations.

  • jsmithcsa

    This is a sure sign that anyone who is a conservative needs to leave the Republican Party.