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House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor stand in front of a white flag of surrender
The GOP's new demand: Legislate talking points
As you might have seen yesterday, the latest episode of Republiclownery is the one in which they are making a three month extension of the debt limit contingent on including a requirement that both the House and Senate must pass budget resolutions or they won't get paid.

Literally speaking, House Republicans aren't actually ending the debt limit hostage crisis; they are substituting one ransom note (demanding one dollar of cuts for every dollar of debt limit increase) for another ransom note (demanding that no member of Congress get paid if the House and Senate fail to pass pieces of paper stamped with the phrase "Budget Resolution"). But those ransom notes are so wildly different that there really is no comparison. In any practical sense, it's utter surrender.

Their original ransom demand was directly tied to the debt limit: the debt limit could only go up by an amount equal to any cuts enacted into law—no cuts, no debt limit. Their new ransom demand has nothing to do with the debt limit, doesn't require passing any additional legislation beyond raising the debt limit itself, makes no demands about cuts, and has an enforcement mechanism (cutting Congressional pay) that isn't even Constitutional.

Republicans would say that their demand is that the Senate pass a budget resolution, which is essentially a set of guidelines for the appropriations process. The reason Republicans are so excited about this demand is that they've convinced themselves that the Democratic Senate hasn't passed a budget in four years, and now they want to force Senate Democrats to finally pass a budget.

It turns out this is really more of a semantic argument than anything else. The Senate hasn't always passed a standalone budget resolution, but sometimes instead used actual spending bills themselves to serve the functions of the budget resolution. For example, the Budget Control Act of 2011 (the result of the previous debt limit fiasco and the creator of sequestration) serves as the Senate's budget resolution for the current fiscal year.

And budget resolutions don't even have the force of law. Remember the Ryan budget? Well, the House passed that. But nothing came of it. So to the extent Republicans are whining about the Senate not passing separate budget resolutions, they are basically just trying to create an issue that excites their base—it's not a huge substantive policy issue because the budget resolution guidelines are already in place. (Amusing side note: budget resolutions can contain reconciliation instructions, and as Republicans would probably like to forget, reconciliation allows Senate votes that can sidestep the filibuster—the vote for final passage of Obamacare being exhibit A.)

But even if you set aside the whole question of the budget resolution, House Republicans are saying they want to enforce their demand by cutting Congressional pay if no budget is delivered within three months. That's a lovely soundbite but a stupid idea, largely because it's unconstitutional (you can't change congressional pay in the middle of a legislative session). The key thing though is that it has nothing to do with the debt limit. Let's say the the House gets its demand, and the Senate or the House (or both) fail to produce a budget. The net result would at worst be a court fight over congressional pay.

It's true that extending the debt limit for just three months means Republicans will need to raise it again in three months time, if not sooner, but if they want to keep on taking votes to raise the debt limit, that's not the end of the world. The key point is that they have given up the debt limit hostage as leverage for anything that matters. Yes, they are still demanding a ransom, but it's like they've gone from demanding all the gold at Fort Knox to demanding a $5 gift certificate to Glenn Beck's favorite online gold reseller.

One last thing: I'm not saying House Democrats should vote for this. The Republican demand is still stupid, and if they care about it so much, they should get the votes together to pass it through the House. If they want House Democrats to give them a helping hand, they should put a clean bill on the floor. That's exactly what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is saying. As to what Senate Democrats should do, there's really no point in speculating until the House passes something specific, but I'm fairly confident Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won't accept legislation from the House containing a substantive ransom demand, even a procedural one.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:33 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How many members of congress need their pay? (5+ / 0-)

    Just curious. It seems to me that you have to be either great at raising money or independently wealthy to even make it through a primary.

    "...we can all shut-up and go back to our caves." - Leonard Bernstein

    by progdog on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:40:29 AM PST

    •  I think the proper question (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, Hohenzollern

      is how many Republicans need their pay.  No doubt the Kochs have the tea party guys' salaries backed up if it came to it.  So they'll be pounding the table indefinitely.

    •  I think it's important we pay congress... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, ManhattanMan

      If for no other reason than that so a Congressperson who actually needs their pay can at least theoretically hold office (Yes, even if we don't have any of them at the moment).

    •  Perhaps 20% need the pay (4+ / 0-)

      It's a well-documented millionaire's club, it could not be higher than 20%.

      It's a mentally insulting ploy, anyway, what fucking children.  They keep pointing mental pistols at their heads to make something happen when they could grow the fuck up and just do it.  For god's sake stop these threats to yourselves, disgusting wannabe adult motherfuckers, the country is so tired of it.

    •  Mostly the most progressive ones (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Capt Crunch, Eyesbright

      Here in this area, we have/have had representatives like Marcia Fudge, Tim Ryan, Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich who are not wealthy, and who lived on their congressional salaries (At one point, Dennis slept in his office to save money).

      On the other hand, we have Teabaggin' Jim Renacci, who is among the wealthiest members of Congress. And the wealthiest member of Congress, who attended and dropped out of the high school up the street from me in my Cleveland suburb, is Darrell Issa.

      The most conservative tend to be very wealthy.  It's often (although not always) the progressives who are worth less. The idea that's been floated that members of Congress should not be paid or should be paid part-time wages would guarantee a wealth-favoring aristocracy in D.C.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:18:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ok, I Know I'm Being A Complete And Total Asshole (18+ / 0-)

    But is it ok for those of us who predicted this outcome to maybe, just maybe gloat a wee bit?

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

    by Beetwasher on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:41:02 AM PST

  •  Dr(s) Evil lower their demands (6+ / 0-)








    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:42:39 AM PST

  •  Buckaroo Banzai (7+ / 0-)

    After Buckaroo Banzai foiled the Red Lectroids' scheme to return to Planet 10 in the 8th Dimension, the  Red Lectroids took over the Republican Party. That is the only theory that explains the GOP's behavior.

    There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. S. Holmes

    by Carnacki on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:43:47 AM PST

  •  Thanks. Many people are confused as to (8+ / 0-)

    what a budget is. The current budget process is the creation of a Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 that attempted to force some discipline on the spending process. But it doesn't authorize or require any spending. It is merely designed to set caps and provide direction on what can be in each of the 13 appropriations acts.

    The process starts when the president submits his budget for fiscal year 2014 in early February. At that point each of the Houses begins their process of working with the President's numbers and deriving their own budget resolutions. Assuming they can accomplish that, and those budget resolutions are passed, they then try to reconcile the House and Senate versions to come up with a single budget resolution.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:49:18 AM PST

  •  So I'm assuming we'll see a whole bunch (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD, wishingwell

    of diaries from all the folks who assured us Obama was going to give away us all to extend the debt ceiling apologizing for being so wrong? I won't hold my breath...

    •  Two questions (4+ / 0-)

      (a) The administration is in favor of Chained CPI, and the President just reiterated that a couple weeks ago on Meet the Press. Pelosi had to come out and support the WH, and say that Chained CPI "strengthens" SS. So, do you think that we won't have Chained CPI?

      (b) It's a tiny three-month extension (if the Congress actually does it, and if the President accepts their deal, which he very well may not so as to force the "big" deal). This will all be back very soon, before Independence Day. The same exact leverage. Do you really count that as a victory? Is that really what precipitates gifs of Snoopy Dances from some people?

      it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

      by Addison on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:16:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No guarantee Chained CPI won't happen (0+ / 0-)

        These "emergency" budget bills are negotiated behind closed doors and passed without anyone knowing what is in them until too late.

        As we saw during the last "fiscal curb" fiasco, all kinds of crap was included in the final bill.  Does anyone think chained CPI won't be included in this next agreement, or the one that happens 3 months after that, or the one that happens 3 months after that?

        It's major sleight of hand governing.  Guess which "emergency" budget bill will cut your SS benefits or raise the retirement age?  No matter which bill we choose, we lose.

        Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:23:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Capt Crunch, PorridgeGun

          So, if this is the new standard operating procedure, we have four more debt ceiling hostages left this year! February/March (the hostage being the budget, which will originate in the GOP-led House and will be awful), May/June, August/September, November/December. Every three months, just like the changing of the seasons, every time in exchange for something. And I suppose we're hoping the GOP will be in a similarly weak position forever? Maybe...

          (Although, maybe Chained CPI is visited upon us via a sequester deal, or a "grand bargain" entitlement deal, or a budget deal -- instead of a debt ceiling deal -- the vehicle really isn't important.)

          it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

          by Addison on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:38:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a reasonable assumption (0+ / 0-)

            and anything could happen, depending on how weak or strong the GOP is, what stories the news media is focusing on, or what the polls show.  

            It's all a manifestation of broken government, distorted and manipulated by former members of Congress and former staffers who now work on K Street and at the "think tanks".  Who better to figure out how to muck up the works than people who worked in Congress for years?

            Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

            by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:14:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Apologizing (0+ / 0-)

      I apologize for sort of thinking that Obama MIGHT hold out, but gloomily wringing my hands and thinking that he would suddenly make some big concessions at the last moment.  

      He has been very firm since January 1, and has been working the business community skillfully and to good effect (they do not want default to crash the economy).

      So far, I am impressed.

  •  Um, it's just a three-month delay. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Capt Crunch, midwesterner

    "Hitler surrenders, decides to wait until Spring to invade Russia!"

    The gloating from Daily Kos is ridiculous. They are playing for time until they look better. 3 months is nothing. It's a tactical delay.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:08:48 AM PST

    •  clearly you missed David Brooks and Charles (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, wishingwell, FiredUpInCA

      Krathammer begging for mercy, and Krugman admitting he was wrong.  The Republicans just admitted they've got nothing, and they look even more pathetic by making it a short-term cave.  

      It's the long game, friends, Obama has them by the short and curlies and he's publishing the photos.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:16:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We'll see. (3+ / 0-)

        I don't think Obama was out there selling Chained CPI (and getting Pelosi to help) for his own amusement. Do you?

        In any case, assuming Congress and the President accept and can pass this deal, we'll be right back here in exactly the same place before July 4th. But people can be happy now if they want.

        it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

        by Addison on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:19:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Someone needs to research what else chained (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell

          CPI impacts.  I'm not invested enough to care because I trust Obama to keep the safety net, and strengthen it.  (Cuz 4 years of data back my trust up, not because I'm a 'bot.)

          I wondered because the Republicans blew it off so fast.  Maybe defense spending, or private contractors, or subsidies to factory farmers?  It's got to be something that would hurt their fundraising.

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:26:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Chained CPI hasn't gone away... (3+ / 0-)

            ...with the 3-month can-kicking "victory". Obama pro-actively wants it. It wasn't a thing that he'd be forced into, it was a thing that some (including me) felt he'd trade at some point during the February/March fiscal FUBAR sequence as the Democrats' sacrifice in the big deal.

            I'll also point out that in no way is the debt ceiling even put off for 3 months, because the deal may not pass, or it may be intended for PR purposes but not intended to pass -- to make the "negotiation" about the budget instead of the debt ceiling.

            We'll likely know in mid-March how it plays out, unless they kick all the cans to May/June.

            it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

            by Addison on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:31:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So it's best to remain convinced that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhillyJeff

              Obama has nefarious plans to destroy the safety net.  Got it.  The fact that he's done the opposite for 4 years means nothing.  

              When your fears mirror those of Wayne LaPierre, maybe you're reading the wrong pundits.  

              David Brooks and Charles Krauthammer are begging him to stop making the Republicans look like loons and I still read on a Democratic blog that he's a bad negotiator with no interest in what's best for American citizens.  Fucking baffles me.

              I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

              by I love OCD on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:00:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Erm... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                limpidglass, Capt Crunch

                ...I'm talking about Chained CPI. Obama himself has pushed the idea and put it on the table -- recently. Pelosi, too. You're beclowning yourself acting like it's some paranoid delusion that Chained CPI is  on its way.

                it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

                by Addison on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:05:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Beclowning. Funny. What I'm saying is that (0+ / 0-)

                  I have no reason to believe Obama is undercutting SS, he's had many opportunities to do so and somehow didn't grasp them.  That makes me stop and think when THIS month's tempest flares up, that's all.  No one has answered this question, which I ask every time I'm entreated to light my hair on fire about SS or Medicare: when in the last 4 years were the Serious Thinkers right about Obama's plan to gut the safety net?

                    Can you point to one instance where Medicare was slashed by Obamacare?  (that was the claim).  Can you tell me how my SS benefits have shrunk since DINO Obama sneaked into power?  

                  Who exactly is blocking the desperately needed Medicaid expansion that Obama slipped into the ACA?  Is it True Progressives who see it as the slippery slope to something something or is it Republicans who know they're totally fucked on Government is Bad once Obamacare starts changing the ridiculously expensive and inept private health system?    

                  I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                  by I love OCD on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:30:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  He said what he said about Chained CPI... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Capt Crunch

                    ...it's on the table, direct from the President himself as recently as two weeks ago. Pelosi herself pushed Chained CPI as a way to make SS stronger. These things are not delusions.

                    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

                    by Addison on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:38:22 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Avoiding the question. (0+ / 0-)

                      When did Medicare, Medicaid, or SS get cut on Obama's watch?  Which time?  

                      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                      by I love OCD on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:53:03 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Here's a reason to think he's in favor of cutting (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PorridgeGun
                    "PRESIDENT OBAMA: ...but I already have, David, as you know, one of the proposals we made was something called Chain CPI, "
                    This is from his most recent appearance on the Sunday talk shows.
                    I would say Obama's own words are a pretty good reason.
                    •  He's also said he was open to (0+ / 0-)

                      budget cuts.  And he's cut the budget by making government more efficient and less open to fraud.  Not by cutting services to the most needy.  What no one seems to get is he says things that sucker Republicans into revealing THEIR nefarious plans, and sneaks stimulus funding into the bargain WITHOUT CUTTING THE SAFETY NET.  Yes I'm yelling.  It. Hasn't. Happened.  EVER.  One entire term and paranoia still reigns, common sense is out the window.

                      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                      by I love OCD on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:44:51 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh geeze - the chess master excuse again. (0+ / 0-)
                        What no one seems to get is he says things that sucker Republicans into revealing THEIR nefarious plans, and sneaks stimulus funding into the bargain WITHOUT CUTTING THE SAFETY NET.
                        The first stimulus was waaaay inadequate becasue Obama started the negotiations to the right of where he should have ended up. The 2010 election results were dismal in large part  because the economy was much less improved than it should have been - because of Obama's flaccid stimulus.
                        He only got RomneyCare passed because he, once again, was trying to appease the Republicans by offering their healthcare plan as a starting point.
                        Neither one of those were the work of some genius strategist. They were stupid moves. And they caused the general public massive pain and suffering.
                        He is not some genius.
                        He is not a saint.
                        He is not a hero.
                        He's just another guy in the White House that made some stupid mistakes in his first term and is finally starting to learn.
          •  D and R leaders both want chained CPI (0+ / 0-)

            but neither wants to be blamed for it.  That's why this latest strategy (behind closed door "emergency" budget battles) may present them with an opportunity to cut SS and Medicare without taking the blame.

            Yes, cuts to SS will increase the cost of other programs, likely higher costs for food stamps, home heating assistance, subsidized housing, etc.  Seniors whose benefits are cut will have to rely more on government programs to meet basic needs for food, shelter, etc.  

            Raising the retirement age will also result in higher costs for other things like unemployment insurance.  

            Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

            by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:01:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And all of these things will happen (0+ / 0-)

              because Obama was just waiting for his second term before doing what he really wanted to do.  Right.  And Death Panels.  You forgot death panels.

              I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

              by I love OCD on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:33:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  He's been very public in his support (0+ / 0-)

                for Chained CPI.  

                He hasn't tried to hide it.  He recently touted it on MTP  

                Unfortunately, the voting public hasn't jumped on board that bandwagon.  Neither has the GOP, at least not publicly.

                I can't read his mind, but Obama hasn't come out publicly with a retraction of his support for cutting SS benefits.  Perhaps his team is still considering new marketing efforts to gain public support (pitting young voters against seniors hasn't worked very well), or perhaps they're willing to play along with the GOP and accomplish the cuts behind closed doors in a budget "emergency" bill.

                We'll just have to wait and see.  But Obama has yet to publicly renounce his support for cutting SS or Medicare benefits.

                Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:06:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  The chained CPI proposal (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            I love OCD

            was supposed to have protection built into it for the poor and the oldest recipients.

            Somehow, this aspect of the proposal doesn't get publicized.

            •  elmo, it's not even a proposal yet. (0+ / 0-)

              It's nothing yet, but there are people here who are convinced Obama owns stock in the catfood companies people will be relying on one he's destroyed everything he stands for!  OK a slight exaggeration, but CT does that to me.

              I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

              by I love OCD on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:38:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is a proposal and Obama made it. (0+ / 0-)
                PRESIDENT OBAMA: ...but I already have, David, as you know, one of the proposals we made was something called Chain CPI,
                Geeze - does he have to have it tattooed on his forehead before people get the message?
                •  is it in Bill form? Has it been voted on? (0+ / 0-)

                  Has it been signed into law?  If so, someone needs to send me money NOW because I'm already on the edge.  

                  What if chained CPI means benefits go up more because current COLA isn't keeping up with real cost of living increases.  Maybe we chain it to gas prices or food prices.  

                  I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                  by I love OCD on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:58:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are not well informed. (0+ / 0-)
                    Has it been signed into law?
                    Here's how the world works - if the bill has been signed into law it's waaaaay to late to do anything about it. The time to speak up is before it becomes law.
                    What if chained CPI means benefits go up more because current COLA isn't keeping up with real cost of living increases.
                    It doesn't.
                    It cuts benefits.
                    That's another place you need to do some research.
    •  It's a fig leaf designed to conceal (0+ / 0-)

      the white flag of surrender. The budget idea is a sop to their fevered frothing base. They'll be fooled...but no one else.

  •  So give them a budget. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg

    give them a liberals wet dream of a budget. Cut every republican program. Fuck those fucking republican assholes

    Clinton/ Warren 2016

    by artr2 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:10:51 AM PST

  •  We've Always Been at War With Eastasia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ModerateJosh

    Up until yesterday the GOP made fiscal predictability its rallying cry.
    Today unpredictability is what the country needs to thrive.

    "The skeleton in the closet is coming home to roost!" Tom Stoppard

    by Apotropoxy on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:13:47 AM PST

  •  Thank you, Jed, for the end-scenario (3+ / 0-)

    Reading up on everything and watching those guys on the Lehrer News Hour it was as if Boehner barfed out this stuff, presto! Into reality it becomes.

    Not the case at all, the House has to vote it, and it has to pass the Senate.  Passing the lips of Boehner means as much as the flatulent resonance of Satan, and just as awful.

    The Republicans gave up on hostages and came up with a mess.  Simply demand a clean debt ceiling bill of 24 months, nothing more or less.  Or eat it, chumps.

    [sigh] It comes to the point of the House just basely functioning.  No one wants to read about this shit for another 90 days.  Please, move on.  Take the loss and move on, could y'all just think of the country for once?  Just one time?

  •  A budget/debt ceiling crisis every three months (8+ / 0-)

    is no way to run a government.

    It is, however, an excellent opportunity for corporate donors and their lobbyists to hang as many perks, pork, special tax loopholes, and corporate welfare into whatever budget legislation is passed several times a year.  Since these deals are negotiated behind closed doors, the public has no input.

    Creating a faux budget crisis every three months is still hostage taking.  It also prevents the federal government from doing its job and passing other legislation in an open and orderly process.

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:17:15 AM PST

  •  This is their "cover" for doing nothing. (3+ / 0-)

    So they want to have a budget fight every three months. Each one of these budget fights seems to consume about a month and a half to two months of actual "fighting" time.
    That takes up approximately 8 months of the year. Then add up the myriad vacation and "constituent service" time and you've got the whole year right there.
    So they want to actually write the schedule so that they don't have time to accomplish a damn thing.

    Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

    by Icicle68 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:21:02 AM PST

    •  Appears to be the case (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Icicle68, Capt Crunch

      An excellent way to tie up government all year long, having a new "budget/debt" crisis every three months.

      Also multiple opportunities to throw in cuts to SS and Medicare benefits.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:27:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The so-called "Ryan Budget" is not a budget (4+ / 0-)

    in the sense most people think of a budget with projections and estimates of revenue and expense, rather it's a conservative manifesto. Here it is (99-page pdf).

    “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

    by RJDixon74135 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:23:23 AM PST

    •  Thank you RJ for pointing out this important fact. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RJDixon74135

      I'd like to amplify what you said.  It takes a surprising amount of shamelessness to gripe about the Democrats when the Republicans produced a joke that they called a budget resolution.  For those who don't remember the "reviews:"

      The path for revenues as a percentage of GDP was specified by Chairman Ryan’s staff. The path rises steadily from about 15 percent of GDP in 2010 to 19 percent in 2028 and remains at that level thereafter. There were no specifications of particular revenue provisions that would generate that path. -
      Congressional Budget Office
      "Not a balanced budget" - Forbes
      "Would Set Nation on Path to End Most of Government Other Than Social Security, Health Care, and Defense By 2050" - Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
      "Unrealistic assumptions" - Washington Post
      "Won't solve deficit crisis" - US News & World Report
      I don't blame the Senate Democrats for not producing a budget and putting themselves in the position of having to reconcile it with garbage while Ryan, Cantor, and Boehner mug for the cameras and sell their grift.

      "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

      by leftreborn on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:26:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't blame Senate Democrats for not (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        My Name Isnt Earl, leftreborn, Davui

        producing a budget, either. In fact, the Senate Dems, not the House Republicans, are in full compliance with the law. From the Senate Budget Committee web site:

        The [2011] Budget Control Act Serves as the Budget for 2012 and 2013

        The Budget Control Act states: “For the purpose of enforcing the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 through April 15, 2012 ... the allocations, aggregates, and levels set in subsection (b)(1) shall apply in the Senate in the same manner as for a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2012.”  In many ways, the Budget Control Act is even more extensive than a traditional budget resolution. Number one, it has the force of law, unlike a budget resolution that never goes to the President. A budget resolution is purely a Congressional document; the Budget Control Act is a law. Number two, it sets discretionary caps for 10 years, instead of the one year normally set in a budget resolution. Number three, it provides enforcement mechanisms, including two years of “deeming resolutions,” which allow budget points of order to be enforced. And fourth, it creates a reconciliation-like “Super Committee” process to address both entitlements and tax reform. And it backs that process up with a $1.2 trillion sequester.  

        “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

        by RJDixon74135 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:25:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I point to that page when Republicans recite their (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RJDixon74135

          little tale about the XXXX days since the last Senate budget.
          They blow a gasket over that especially since the Budget Control Act couldn't have passed without the 174 Republican votes it got in the House, including Paul Ryan's.  The extent and the magnitude of Republican lies makes it impossible for me to believe a single word they say.  That's not rhetoric for me.  I literally take every single word as a lie.

          "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

          by leftreborn on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:59:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe I'm missing something (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    but wouldn't "complete surrender" be signing off on the rise in the debt ceiling, with no other preconditions, for at least another year be surrender?
    It seems like they're dazed but still standing to me.

    •  And keep in mind... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Capt Crunch

      ...according to the reports and the idea (which is spurious in itself) that any part of this particular deal will ever happen, all this hinges on the successful passing of a budget that will originate in the House. This is not something to gloat about.

      it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

      by Addison on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:41:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a fig leaf (0+ / 0-)

      that will fool pretty much no one except their base.

      It's like demanding the police eat a doughnut before they arrest you.

  •  Congress just plugs along (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    ..from one manufactured crisis to the next, while studiously ignoring the real ones.

    Middle-school drama-queens in decent suits. Hucksters and tools.

    The Aggressively Ignorant Caucus is getting aggressively ignorant again.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:31:53 AM PST

  •  It's NOT a surrender to give a three month raise.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Addison, Capt Crunch

    They want to line up the ext debt ceiling stand off when they're on better ground is all.  Right around tax time when everybody is pissed off at how much they just realized they paid/had to pay.  

    White House and Dems need a way to say "Hell no!" to the three month raise.  Make the case how the GOP just want to use it for hostage taking later and America and the business world need to but this hostage garbage behind them and show that America isn't a deadbeat nation.  

    All the GOP is offering now is a delay in their hostage taking because Pres Obama has his inauguration address on Monday and then the SOTU on February 15th(or so) and both will be watched by 20M plus and thus is a HUGE bully pulpit.  So they offer this small concession now in hopes the Pres then deletes the mentions about debt ceiling hostage taking and deadbeat nations from his speeches.

    "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

    by Jacoby Jonze on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:49:16 AM PST

  •  Reactions to the GOP debt limit announcement: (0+ / 0-)
    “This is a gimmick unworthy of the challenges we face and the national debate we should be having. The message from the American people is clear: no games, no default.”
    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spokesman, Drew Hammill
    "We are going to pursue strategies that will obligate the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government's spending problem."
    Speaker John Boehner
    “I stand in strong support of the agreement reached by my colleagues today. Since taking the majority, House Republicans have done their job. We've passed a budget that promotes economic growth and gets spending under control. But for nearly four years, Senate Democrats have refused to pass a budget. Today’s agreement will hold the Senate accountable for this legal and moral failure."
    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan
    “The House Republican plan fails to give American families, small businesses, and economic markets the certainty needed to boost economic growth. This is also a thinly veiled attempt to gain political leverage at the expense of the economy. It will merely reinforce the idea that Washington cannot act responsibly when it comes to our financial obligations.”
    House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen
    "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.  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. And as he has said, the President remains committed to further reducing the deficit in a balanced way."
    President Obama Spokesman Jay Carney
    _______________

    The New York Times offered a glimpse into the meetings at the Republican retreat earlier in the week where leadership sold its new strategy to the party regulars.

    “Mr. Ryan stood to talk over the options he had developed with the House conservative leaders. They could do a longer-term debt ceiling extension with specific demands, like converting Medicare into a voucherlike program. Or they could lower expectations, reorder the budget hurdles with a three-month punt, and add the “no budget, no pay” provision."

    "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

    by leftreborn on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:00:38 AM PST

    •  So, there is no deal after all? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Capt Crunch

      This was mostly just a PR move by the GOP to take a hostage (the debt ceiling) while seeming to take a different hostage (the budget)?

      SNOOPYDANCE.GIF, everybody!

      it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

      by Addison on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:08:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well - I like Jed Lewison's diaries and I don't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Addison

        want to contradict him.  I think he's taking the more hopeful tone that Jay Carney did.  Wait and see.  I wrote a diary about this topic yesterday and I used a different tone.

        Do you remember seeing video of a Grover Norquist interview a month ago during the fiscal cliff hysteria?  He talked about dribbling out the debt limit to President Obama three months at a time, or a month at a time, if he's good, otherwise they could do two weeks at a time.  It got widespread airtime on all the popular media.  This is that plan.  

        "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

        by leftreborn on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:37:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kudos to Paul Krugman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhillyJeff

    For admitting he was wrong about the White House's lack of spine and negotiating skills on this.

    •  Agree with Krugman (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Capt Crunch

      but its also left unsaid that criticizing Obama in advance for caving to the GOP is the most effective way of getting him to stand up to them.  It works.  It's Obama's choice, he's always telling us to "make him do it".  So we do.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:08:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

        The people in the circle jerk whining about his "caving" are NOT the ones having an impact. The ones having an impact are on the ones sending the emails and making the calls, the ones who have NOT decided based on flimsy evidence that the President has already made a hard decision to "cave" so they just come here and post diaries whining about it.

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:21:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wrong assumption (0+ / 0-)
          The ones having an impact are on the ones sending the emails and making the calls,
          Those of us who don't want cuts to SS & Medicare, who do want good government make those phone calls and send those emails too.  

          The difference is that we send them to both R's and D's, we hold both sides accountable.

          Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

          by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:52:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think you have it backwards (0+ / 0-)

          Obama is finally getting somewhere because he is doing what the progressives have been pressuring him to do all along. We've always said not to deal with the Republicans when they pull this kind of crap.
          Over and over he's caved and now he's finally, so far at least, following a progressive game plan and Viola! - results.
          No thanks to those who "trusted" him to do the sensible thing.
          It's precisely those that have "trusted" Obama who are responsible for all the caves. And, in large part, those caves were responsible for the dismal showing in 2010.
          We need to keep the pressure up on Obama to stand strong and reject this deal.
          This is not complete surrender.
          This is not game over.
          This is a tactical retreat and they will attack again.

      •  Criticizing Obama in advance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kat68

        is a great way to make progressives look bad, dampen enthusiasm prior to elections (see 2010), split the party, etc etc.

        As you can see, the people who were convinced Obama is a secret Republican that wants to destroy the Democratic party have already convinced themselves that this is all part of a larger Obama plan to destroy SS because that's what he wants.

        When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

        by PhillyJeff on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:24:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's not even a little bit plausible (0+ / 0-)

        The President has just been re-elected. He is not going to change what he plans to do simply because of some noise from the left.

        He said he wasn't negotiating on the debt ceiling and he isn't going to negotiate on the debt ceiling this time because he has public opinion strongly with him now. That's why.

        •  he's not a dictator (0+ / 0-)

          as the Obama supporters point out when he's lost on an issue. And he's a lame duck.

          The House and Senate Democrats, however, are not lame ducks. It's their jobs on the line in 2014 if they cut SS.

        •  Public opinion doesn't favor SS & Medicare cuts (0+ / 0-)

          regardless of which party is behind them.  

          Fortunately, Obama won the election, but it didn't give him a mandate to promote cuts to vital safety net programs.   Be prepared to hear voters protest loudly every time that issue comes up.  

          If he stays with chained CPI, Dems will pay a dear price in 2014, no matter how many of us go out to campaign, donate, make calls, etc.

          Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

          by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:57:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kat68

        I didn't agree with the sentiments expressed by Obama's critics on the deal, including Krugman, that he was likely to fold in the second round. But I always felt that those critics served a purpose (I'm sure some knowingly, some not) giving Obama and the Dems additional leverage.

  •  The Debt Limit (0+ / 0-)

    I think you're missing the point.  

    If the Republicans can keep the discussion focused on the debt, in any form, they win.  Because the more time that is spent wrangling over money, the less time is spent trying to  address important issues like, say, climate change.    Or unemployment.  Or the income gap.

    But probably, most importantly, climate change.  Got to keep those petrodollars coming in!

  •  Short leash. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Capt Crunch

    November 28th, 2012...

    NORQUIST: Well, the Republicans also have other leverage. Continuing resolutions on spending and the debt ceiling increase. They can give him debt ceiling increases once a month. They can have him on a rather short leash, you know, here’s your allowance, come back next month.
    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:02:51 AM PST

  •  How can this be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftreborn

    I didnt understand what the 'debt ceiling' is, until I read about it.  I will say the phrase is deceptive, and understand why unread Americans would attach the 'debt ceiling' as permission to raise the debt limit.

    It is not I found out.  It is actually the same as signing the cheque to pay the bills Americans alredy have.

    I dont see how the debtor can debate or negotiate money he already owes by refusing to sign the cheque to pay them.  You or I as individuals cant do this without a severe downgrade of credibility, and to the credit rating of America.

    To me, the people who want to damage the American credit, credibility, and trust by holding hostage the money to pay the bills should be tried for treason.

    I am not fond of treasoners, and personally, I think the Palistinians know how to handle them.

    •  When the subject of treason comes up, I've noticed (0+ / 0-)

      that there are always people around to brush it away on a question of legality. Maybe extortion because of the use of coercion would be a realistic charge.  It's as if the Democrats don't have the resolve to pursue it.  On the other hand, it's easy to find Republicans who want to start an impeachment of President Obama right now.

      "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

      by leftreborn on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:13:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dems need to be careful, this is a trap (0+ / 0-)

    This no pay till we get a budget thing reaks of a  Frank Luntz focus group idea.

    If you read any article from like yahoo news or something like that and goto the comments you are going to find a ton of "I got an idea for the deficit lets cut congresses pay and benefits!" posts with even more tons of green thumbs ups.

    and if the Dems fight it, the repubs will work it into the propaganda machine...

    Dems won't take pay cut to help economy! (Que fox news commenter shocked expression)

    You know they will!

    the Dems need to get in front of this, stupid idea or not. High profile Dems could voluntarily forgo pay for a while and challenge the repubs to do the same (all the while reminding people they have to do it voluntarily cause changing the pay in session is unconstitutional).

  •  The Republicans Have Gone From (0+ / 0-)

    "Give us the money or we'll cut off your johnson!!!"

    to

    "We'll take whatever change you happen to have in your pockets."

    Fucking amateurs.  

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:18:12 PM PST

  •  they go in circles (0+ / 0-)

    and because use of this, sometimes, without realizing it, they go in the direction we prefer

    but it does make me dizzy

    www.tapestryofbronze.com

    by chloris creator on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:34:16 AM PST

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