Here’s a question for everyone in the Senate: Have they seen the House GOP? Apparently, the people who think they are the bosses in the Senate—West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican leader Mitch McConnell—have said they want House Republicans to keep the gun they are pointing at the global economy. As of now, they are declining to take the debt ceiling problem off the table.
“We’d love to do the debt limit. That doesn’t magically create the votes to get the debt limit done,” a senior White House official complained to Politico, after saying they don’t think they can get Republican votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster on the debt limit. Which leaves it to the nihilistic bomb throwers in the House, who absolutely would blow up the economy by sheer ineptitude if not on purpose. The limit is now expected to be reached around June of next year.
So do it without Republicans is the obvious answer—use the last budget reconciliation process available to them this year because it isn’t subject to the filibuster. Why not? “The administration has determined that if it were to go the reconciliation route on the debt limit, it would face likely opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin.” How about let’s try it before deciding it can’t be done?
“Although there is grave risk to the economy, the gun is in Republicans’ hands,” a White House adviser explained. “And there is little question as to who will get blamed for this.” That’s apparently the thinking leading them to drop the effort—the other guys will see that they’ll be blamed, so they won’t do it.
Once again, have they SEEN the House GOP?
Both Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema were willing to vote on a filibuster carve-out for the debt ceiling just a year ago. It was convoluted and messy but it got done. In fact, 14 Republican senators went along with helping them do it. Three of that group—Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, and Rob Portman—have retired. All are moderates, none have any reason to watch the shreds of their party go down in history as the cause of America’s first debt default and widespread economic destruction. In addition to those three retiring Republicans, there’s Pat Toomey and Richard Shelby. Shelby’s the Republican leader on the appropriations committee, and has a vested interest in the fiscal soundness of the U.S.
The point is, with them and with the rest of that group that helped out last time, there would be the votes to do it again. And to shame Manchin and Sinema into helping again because HAVE THEY SEEN THE HOUSE GOP!?!?
Coming out of this near-recession, or whatever the economic COVID-19 pandemic hangover can be called, financial markets are still fragile, and the constant rate hikes from the Federal Reserve have also added some instability to the markets. Even the threat of a debt ceiling breach is enough to destabilize them further. Even Larry Summers, a noted Democratic crank, is warning about it. “Debt limit terror is a much more serious risk in the context of rising interest rates, Treasury market illiquidity, and increased foreign holdings of U.S. securities,” he told Politico.
Other economists agree. “Everyone assumes that reason will eventually prevail, so it would probably take getting very close to default for people to panic,” Megan Greene, global chief economist at the Kroll Institute, told Politico. “But the Treasury market is stressed already and will be even more so after a few more rate hikes, and an actual downgrade or default would be absolutely catastrophic for U.S. and global markets.”
Also, HAVE THEY SEEN THE HOUSE GOP!!?!?!?
Throwing their hands up in the air and trusting that the House maniacs will somehow become serious about governing by next June is really not how the White House and Democratic leadership should be handling this one.
Election Night 2022 was full of surprises—mostly for people pushing the last couple months of traditional media narrative of a "red tsunami." The problem is that Americans are not super into the GOP. Markos and Kerry have been saying the media narrative was wrong for months, and on Tuesday, Daily Kos and The Brief team was validated.