from my newly relaunched blog, Basie!
Which party stands for fiscal sanity? Which party believes in balanced budgets? Jonathan Allen's article in this issue of CQ Weekly entitled "Debt Limit Increase Goes Quietly From House to Senate" should give you some idea as to the answer [no link available].
The House sent to the Senate last week legislation that would raise the nation's statutory debt limit by $781 billion to nearly $9 trillion, and it did so without casting what could have been a politically painful vote.
The move was triggered by the adoption in both chambers of the budget resolution (H Con Res 95) the week of April 25. According to House rules, once a final budget is adopted, a separate bill is automatically generated in the House to raise the debt limit by a level specified in the budget resolution and it is "deemed" to have passed the House. The rule was originally named for its creator, former Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo. (1977-2005). It has since been renamed the "Hastert rule," for current Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.
The joint resolution (H J Res 47) was shipped May 2 to the Senate, which was in recess until May 9. But the Senate, in no rush to take up the measure, might opt to try raising the debt limit through a reconciliation bill -- as permitted by the budget resolution -- which would protect it from filibuster. But any such bill would have to be voted on by the House.
Republicans believe it is OK to increase America's national debt by another three quarters of a trillion
dollars while continuing to cut taxes for those worth more than $10,000,000. Clearly, the Republicans want to bankrupt America, and the Democrats should not let them get away with it.
Come election season, when the Democrats shift from their general attacks on Republican excesses to a vision of the future, the Democrats should remind Americans that Bill Clinton balanced the budget whereas George W. Bush and his Republican allies have increased the federal deficit by trillions. It was a potent line of attack in 1992 when Ross Perot received nearly a fifth of the popular vote and it would be a strong claim today, too.
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