In that chamber, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are circulating a 23-page draft bill that would increase the borrowing limit until January and end the first government shutdown since 1996 by funding government through March.Manchin doesn't get it, and the ostensible moderate Collins hopes he and Democrats don't get it. Democrats are supposed to reward Republicans for their bullying and tantrums, and all the country gets is the assurance that there will be more extortions and bullying and tantrums in January when the debt ceiling again needs raising, and then more extortions and bullying and tantrums in March when the government again needs to be paid for? No deal. Period.
The bill would also delay Obamacare’s tax on medical devices for two years, while paying for the lost revenue by altering the way that pensions are calculated. allow the heads of federal agencies more autonomy within the constraints of the sequester and provide funding boosts for wildfire suppression, a key concern of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
This is not about any specific policies. This is about process. Republicans have made that clear, as they thrash about helplessly, desperate to find a way out of the disaster they've created. Their bottom line is that they want to keep playing the politics of brinksmanship, and any compromise, any deal that allows them to continue, would be an epic failure. The government shutdown is on them, and they must own it, and they must not be rewarded for ending it, and they must not be allowed to think they can ever do this again. The debt ceiling must be raised, and if it is not, the Republicans must own that, and they must not be rewarded for what should be the automatic of raising it, and they must not be allowed to think they can ever hold it hostage again.
Did I mention that the Republicans are rapidly sinking in the polls? Throw them an anvil.