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John Boehner in front of microphones
John Boehner, debt ceiling drama queen.
Call it an electoral death wish or a leadership hail mary. Either way, House Speaker John Boehner is calling for future debt ceiling drama.
In remarks at the 2012 Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Boehner will erect the same requirements for raising the debt limit this coming winter that nearly led the country to default on its debt last August.

“We shouldn’t dread the debt limit. We should welcome it. It’s an action-forcing event in a town that has become infamous for inaction,” Boehner will say according to excerpts of prepared remarks provided by his office. “That night in New York City, I put forth the principle that we should not raise the debt ceiling without real spending cuts and reforms that exceed the amount of the debt limit increase…. When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase. This is the only avenue I see right now to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our structural fiscal imbalance. If that means we have to do a series of stop-gap measures, so be it—but that’s not the ideal. Let’s start solving the problem. We can make the bold cuts and reforms necessary to meet this principle, and we must.”

Boehner is promising another manufactured crisis to try to force more draconian cuts to domestic spending, which would happen in the lame duck session, while he presides over a caucus that will refuse to even consider tax increases. Deja vu all over again. But it's precisely Boehner's extreme caucus, and his very weak hold over it, that is prompting this latest round of threats, says House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.
“Let me say that the dollar-for-dollar [requirement] led to the sequester which none of us like,” Hoyer said. “So while it sounds good, the execution of that principle does not seem to be very disciplined. We need to have a big, bold, balanced deal. The Speaker, in my view, believes that as well. The Speaker’s party does not believe in balance….We don’t adopt their priorities.” [...]

“The debt limit should not be a political issue. Mr. Boehner knows it shouldn’t be a political issue,” Hoyer said. “As a practical effect, we ought not to allow the debt limit to be in question. Increasingly we’re going to undermine the confidence in the United States by continuing this game on the debt limit. We’ve incurred the debts, we need to pay the debts.”

The crises Boehner's out-of-control caucus have managed to manufacture haven't done his party one bit of good outside the extreme, tea party base, so it's interesting that Boehner is willing to go there again, before the election. It could be more about his endangered caucus leadership than anything else.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue May 15, 2012 at 09:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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