Bungling the Debt Ceiling
“Bungling The Debt Ceiling,” EconoSpeak, Barkley Rosser
It looks like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is bungling the matter of raising (or suspending) the debt ceiling, coming due in mid-October supposedly. He could have tied it to reconciliation in August, but decided not to, intent on getting GOPster on board with participating in doing it. But Sen. McConnell (R-KY) is having none of it, and even though Schumer thought he had them by tying it to a continuing resolution to keep the government going past Sept. 30, well, McConnell is not going along, nor are any of his colleagues, with maybe one exception, Sen. Kennedy of Louisiana who wants money for dealing with the effects of Hurricane Ida. Anyway, it looks like McConnell is just fine with some economy-damaging crash, which may help GOP next year.
I really do not see why Schumer did not see this one coming. I think he thinks a year from now people will be remembering it was the naughty GOP that crashed the economy rather than the Dems doing so by mismanaging things. People are not that smart. He needs to keep the economy going, and we know the voters do not give a phoo about deficits or the debt unless they see the economy not doing well, which a GOP crashing of the ceiling raise could bring about. He needs to bite the bullet and get this into the Reconciliation, although apparently now it will take some time for reasons I do not understand, and we may get a short government shutdown before it can be done. Bungling on this one. GOP is now totally irresponsible and nihilistic.
If Schumer is ‘bungling it’, could it be Manchin be threatening to cross the aisle?
Senator Sinema might be just as likely to bolt to the GOP
She will not do that, not unless she gets kicked out of the Dem caucus. She is serving her last term in office regardless of which party she is in.
Candidates (so far) for AZ Senate election in 2022
Sinema was elected in 2018, so she will remain in the Senate til the end of 2024 regardless of party affiliation.
Mark Kelly, who was just elected in a special election, gets to run again in 2022, already has one Dem challenger and as many as 18 on the GOP side.
I will be supporting Mark
Schumer should have put it in the Reconciliation bill in August. He did not so he could play games with the GOP. That was a mistake. Manchin or Sinema might still be a problem, but this debt ceiling thing is not either of their’s big whoop.
Has anyone read Section 4 of the 14th Amendment? Is there some reason it doesn’t mean what it says?
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.
But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
In other words, what McConnell and Republicans are doing is unconstitutional
Looks like “it”.
Democrats Fear Failure to Deliver in Congress Could Be Fatal in Midterms
This is a very uninformative post really. What is the actual problem when the Senate is 50-50 + the Vice President and other comments here tell me that neither Sinema or Manchin are that worked up about the debt ceiling and possibly one Republican would join? I am trying to pull together from memory anything that plausibly makes this a problem and all I can think of is I think I heard there was some kind of frequency limit on how many actions the Senate can take on a reconciliation basis every year or term. Does that have something to do with this?
The Atlantic: The Progressives have already won
In an Oval Office meeting with House progressives last week, Joe Biden made a joke about how much had changed in his long career: “I used to be called a moderate,” the president mused. He was, at that moment, trying to mediate a Democratic Party struggle between the left-wing lawmakers sitting before him and the moderates he had hosted a few hours earlier. When the meeting ended, Biden pulled aside Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington State. He thumbed through a folder of papers he was holding. Eventually, Biden handed Jayapal a copy of the speech he delivered to Congress in April, in which he laid out the economic vision he wanted to enact—the ambitious agenda to expand the social safety net over which Democrats are currently haggling.
The president’s gesture of support underscored the political reality that is driving the tense negotiations on Capitol Hill: In the battle for ideological supremacy in the Democratic Party, the progressives have already won. Biden was indeed a proud moderate during his three and a half decades as a senator, but he has fallen in firmly with the progressives as president. He’s embraced the agenda championed by the likes of his former rivals Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—tackling climate change; creating a new child-care tax credit; expanding the government’s role in health care; endorsing universal pre-K, free community college, and paid family leave—and made it his own. The moderates in the House and Senate are balking at the size and scope of Biden’s plan, and, still, the president is siding with the progressives. He used last week’s meetings to reassure lawmakers like Jayapal and to pressure centrists such as Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who have opposed the $3.5 trillion price tag of the Democrats’ proposal but have yet to make a counteroffer of their own.
The progressives’ intraparty victory could wind up being an empty one in the end. With the Democrats’ slim majorities in Congress, the moderates have the votes to sink all but the relatively modest infrastructure portion of Biden’s agenda, which passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote this past summer. Embittered progressives could then reject the infrastructure bill, leaving the party with a catastrophic whiff heading into its already-uphill effort to hold Congress in next year’s midterm elections. “Most people feel that progressives have gotten rolled over and over again because they haven’t been able or willing to leverage their power,” Jayapal told me.
At minimum, the moderates are likely to scale back the much larger package that Democrats need to pass without help from Republicans. But that prospect is not as frightening to progressives as it might have been in past years. Because of their early success, the second bill is so broad that even if moderates were to cut its cost in half, Biden could still lay claim to legislative accomplishments that, when added to the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan enacted this spring, are more significant than any Democratic president of the past half century. Manchin opposes the breadth of the bill’s climate provisions, and House moderates have blocked a plan aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs. The Senate parliamentarian has nixed a proposal to include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Yet even if those measures are watered down or scrapped, what’s left in the bill would still dramatically increase federal support for child care, early education, college, and health care. …
One can only hope. Eventually things will change not so much because of progressive politics, but rather because of the short half-life of the policy stupidity that has dominated US government so long that serious disaster is becoming imminent. Things will get better for those that are still left among the living.
Oh, I guess the post was not clear enough for you. The bungle by Schumer was not putting it in reconciliation. If he had, then your calculation would be accurate. But that it is not means it needs `10 GOP votes in the Senate. Those are not remotely there. That is the problem.
Reuters: What are Congress’ options for funding government and raising the debt limit?
Democrats could present a stand-alone debt limit increase as a gamble that there will then be so much pressure on Republicans to go along that they either vote for the bill or decline to “filibuster” it in the Senate. The latter would allow the bill to pass by a simple majority of 48 Democrats, two independents and a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Kamala Harris.
WHAT ABOUT BUDGET RECONCILIATION?
Budget reconciliation is a maneuver that bypasses the normal Senate requirement of 60 votes to advance a bill. It’s the technique that the chamber’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, used to pass a sweeping tax-cut bill skewed to the wealthy when his party controlled the Senate in 2017. Now in the minority, he wants Democrats to use this to address the debt so that no Republicans have to vote for, and take responsibility for, a debt limit increase even though they want one.
But it’s complicated.
Democrats could try to tuck language on the debt ceiling into Biden’s sweeping $3.5 trillion social spending bill. But the party is deeply divided on that bill and it’s not clear that moderates and progressives could agree on a compromise package in time to avert a default.
Another option would be to write a reconciliation bill focused on just the debt ceiling. That’s also time consuming as bills trigger a much-despised process called a “vote-a-rama” with the potential for hundreds of amendments. The Senate has held multiple all-night sessions of that kind over the past year.
A stand-alone debt ceiling increase using the reconciliation process likely would have to be approved by the Senate parliamentarian since there are tight controls on its use.
Meanwhile, the Bipartisan Policy Center now estimates that the Treasury Department will fully exhaust its borrowing capability sometime between Oct. 15 and mid-November. Unless Congress acts in time, the U.S. government likely would lapse into default. …