Like many other people here, I was, more than anything, just relieved that we were able to re-open the government and avoid economic catastrophe without Obama and the Democrats giving in to the ransom demands. While I hope that this spurs the mostly sane part of the country to elect a Democratic house next year, I want the debt ceiling and shutting down the government to be basically taken off the table entirely for ANY administration, Republican or Democrat. In other words, while the hostages were freed this time, we left the hostage-takers their guns. It's time to take those away.
For the current situation, it SOUNDS like both Boehner and McConnell are on the same page as far as shutting the government down again. It doesn't sound like that will happen. On the other hand, though, 144 Republicans, more than half their conference, voted not just to keep government closed, but to actually DEFAULT. This is not a sane conference, and the problem is, even if Boehner and McConnell are marginally more reasonable, it's only a matter of time before the Tea Party takes over the Republican party.
Maybe this means GOP numbers overall will take a dive, but with their aggressive gerrymander and a somewhat politically apathetic and short-memoried country, it's certainly possible that we'll soon have a House speaker who would have gladly gone over the cliff on Wednesday. I want this option taken away forever. No one should be able to cause the country to default for no reason.
My initial thought is that we should get the debt ceiling declared unconstitutional if possible. The problem, however, is how to setup a "test case" for the law to be reviewed by the Supreme Court, without actually having to go over the cliff and Obama (or another president) having to say that they believe the law to be unconstitutional. If anyone has any ideas on this, I'd be interested to hear them.
As for shutting down the government, it's well known that if Boehner had simply let the House vote on a clean CR from the very beginning that it would've passed, perhaps by as much or more than the final bill actually passed by. The fact that the GOP conference simply made it impossible for the CR to hit the floor by changing the rules is ridiculous. Is there some way that we can make it so "clean" CRs (without riders) to fund the government at current levels are automatically brought to the floor for the whole House to vote on if no budget has passed, so that we don't run into this again? This would still leave the House the power of the purse, as it could still be voted down to shut down government, but it would make it so the WHOLE HOUSE has to vote on it, rather than just letting the Speaker or Majority Leader shut down government because about half of his or her party is against it.
Anyone have any thoughts on these?