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Red stick figures
If GOPers insist on walking off the cliff, will Dems finally let them?
The Hill:
The failure of House Republican leaders to pass a healthcare measure this week exposes a GOP weakness going into the high-profile debt-ceiling talks this summer.

A number of high-ranking Republican lawmakers close to the whip operation told The Hill, on the condition of anonymity, that there has been a “disconnect” with leadership lately.

Unless rectified, that disconnect could hamper Republican efforts to go toe-to-toe with President Obama on raising the debt ceiling. Obama has steadfastly refused to negotiate on the issue while Republicans in the House and Senate are demanding cuts to accompany any debt-limit hike.

Apparently, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pushed forward with the Obamacare "fix" despite warnings from Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy that the votes weren't there to pass it. And if they couldn't handle legislative strategy on something as simple as trying to undermine Obamacare, it's fair to ask how they plan to handle raising the debt limit, which needs to be raised in the next two or three months. The answer, according to one House Republican, is that there just isn't a plan:
“The one real frustrating thing is that the impending [debt-limit debate] that we’re about to have — there’s no plan for that. There’s no meeting, no discussions ...” the Republican lawmaker said.
We'll hit the statutory debt limit next month, but the Treasury Department will be able to prevent default for another few weeks through extraordinary measures. But at some point soon, Congress needs to raise the limit or they will force the country into default.

The most sensible thing to do would be for Boehner to let a clean debt limit bill come to the floor and pass with Democratic and Republican votes, but if he insists on moving legislation with Republican votes only, we'll be confronted with yet another hostage crisis.

The last time the debt limit came up, President Obama said he would not negotiate at gunpoint, and Republicans backed down before a major escalation. That may be what happens again this summer. But if it doesn't, and they do escalate their ransom demands, President Obama will once again be forced to choose between letting Republicans sabotage the country and letting them blackmail it. Of course, as we're learning from the sequester, it can be very hard to tell the difference.


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Comment Preferences

  •  but weren't the Republicans just complaining (13+ / 0-)

    about spending cuts?

    Not that Republicans have ever been internally consistent. But complaining about spending cuts was this week.

  •  there has been a “disconnect” with leadership (6+ / 0-)


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

    by JML9999 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 09:04:44 AM PDT

  •  One thing NOT hard to figure out... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, raboof, jds1978, 3goldens, jbsoul

    is whether, if pushed to the wall or confronted with moneyed/ruling class inconvenience, Obama will cave.

    Of course he will.

    "There's no ideology [t]here [on the right]. It's just about being a dick." Bill Maher, June 22, 2012.

    by caseynm on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 09:07:29 AM PDT

  •  I hope he makes a clear "no negotiations" (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, 3goldens, Dancing Frog, nchristine, jbsoul

    stance proactively. Otherwise, as soon as Rs tighten into ransom position, he may precapitulate and offer things no one is asking for.

    There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

    by srkp23 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 09:12:02 AM PDT

  •  Republicans don't need a plan. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, maryabein, 3goldens, jbsoul

    They just threaten the Democrats and watch them cave.

  •  They'll continue doing what they have been doing. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mchestnutjr, jck, 3goldens, jbsoul, Matt Z

    It's working for them, right?

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 09:16:28 AM PDT

  •  So far as I can tell, the debt ceiling serves (7+ / 0-)

    absolutely no positive purpose and abolishing it would harm nothing.  It's just like the sequester.  The best way to deal with it is rescission.  

    Think of all the problems that could be fixed like magic.  Poof!  

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 09:18:10 AM PDT

  •  The People Need To Flex Their Muscle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, nchristine

    Blue Flu, slowdowns, unfortunate mistakes and other passive-aggressive ways to grind things to a halt. People in this country will never agree to a general strike but maybe there are ways to send a message to the powers that be that we can throw a monkey wrench into their works very easily.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 09:36:36 AM PDT

  •  This is not good news for anybody (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, Mistral Wind, DSPS owl

    Any debt ceiling increase needs to get through a Republican-controlled, Republican-majority House of Representatives.

    I don't think any Republicans in the House would vote for a clean debt-ceiling increase, even if Speaker Boehner let it come up for a vote. And even if there were 17 (which I don't see) there's no way that Speaker Boehner lets something come up for a vote when only 17 of his 232 members will vote in favor of it.  I can't imagine ANY Speaker of either party would agree to that.  

    The only way the debt ceiling increase happens in the next couple of months without drama, and without damage to the country's economy, is if the Republican leadership in the House can persuade their caucus to speak with one voice and to reach some kind of agreement on the terms on which they will vote for something.  Democrats may not like the terms they want, but at least it gives the Democrats some idea of who they are dealing with, and some prospect that, if they DO reach some kind of agreement, it gets passed through the House.  The only way a debt ceiling increase happens this summer is if there is something that 100 or more House Republicans can agree to.   If House Republicans remain in disarray, that makes it less likely that there is a debt ceiling increase timely and without damaging the economy, not MORE likely.

    For anybody of either party who wants the debt ceiling to be raised this summer without damage to the economy, this is not good news.  

    •  Are we getting close to the point where (4+ / 0-)

      we can convince people just to vote out Republicans to put an end to this shooting ourselves in the foot (or higher)? Have we gotten to the point that this might work, given their endless exhibitions of rank incompetence, disorganization, and tendency to pick the wrong side on nearly every issue?

      I certainly know it's a heavy lift to take back a gerrymandered House and get a supermajority in the Senate, especially with all the retiring Dems, so this dream of a fed up America is likely just that.

      "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

      by orrg1 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 10:32:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the gutless dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    will protect their friends in the gop before they will side with the 99%, the gop and the 1% are the dems real constituents.

  •  Perfect match for Sweet Brown automix (0+ / 0-)

    Beyond my ability, but hope someone can generate a parody of Cantor's claim based on the Sweet Brown Remix

    There ain't no plan for dat...
    Ain't nobody gotta plan for dat...

    There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

    by OHeyeO on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 11:05:35 AM PDT

  •  I say, let's go over the cliff. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, jbsoul

      After reading the 2 articles bobswern and mot - let's go over the will scare the hell out of the banks and they'll call GOP - TPer's will say no and then we are done - banks are toast - just like all of we mere plebes.

  •  Obama has one correct path. Announce that there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Parker

    will be no negotiation or bargain involving the debt limit.  Any bill passed by Congress to raise the limit with strings attached will be vetoed.  The reconciliation between the House and Senate budgets must be kept separate from the debt ceiling increase and it must be done in conference in front of the American people.  Obama should also call for a repeal of the debt ceiling.  

    The Constitution doesn't authorize Congress to threaten the American people with harm unless they consent to public policy that they don't want and which cannot be enacted by the normal process used to pass legislation. The Constitution doesn't give the legislative branch the power to coerce the American people to accept public policy under duress.

    A Congress which has the power to refuse a rise in the debt limit also has the power to impose a "Sophie's Choice" on the public.  By making a rise in the ceiling contingent upon another demand, Congress could attach anything it wants in the future.  The American people should be able to see now that the Congress holds a power over them that the Constitution never provided.

    Few Americans of any political party would want Congress to have such immense power to act contrary to the will of the people.  The separation of powers between the branches of government, and the voice of the people through the ballot box aren't an effective counterweight to the power Congress has and which it can misuse to the detriment of the people before they ever have a chance to remedy the situation.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 12:41:02 PM PDT

  •  well I presume we don't have a plan either, right? (0+ / 0-)

    Besides pre-emptive surrender, I mean.

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