Skip to comments.No Budget, No Debt Ceiling Hike
Posted on 01/19/2013 8:09:58 AM PST by Kaslin
In 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama inserted a speech into the Congressional Record decrying the increase in the debt ceiling that President Bush was asking for. Its unfortunate that he didnt actually deliver the speech, because it would have been a real stem-winder.
Increasing Americas debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren, Obama said. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase Americas debt limit.
Obama now says that was a political speech and a political vote. Now he wants Republicans to simply walk the plank and give him the same no-strings-attached debt ceiling hike that he gleefully denied to President Bush. But nobody wants to vote to authorize additional federal debt not even the people who voted for all the spending that caused the debt. Every spending program has a political constituency that cheers for it. Debt? Not so much.
The severe political aversion to voting for a debt ceiling hike is not new. For years, the House avoided the political pain of debt ceiling votes under an innovation developed in 1979 by Dick Gephardt. Every time it came up I had to go to every member and seek their vote, Gephardt told The Atlantic in an interview during the 2011 debt ceiling debate. It was painful and difficult and, I thought, unnecessary. I'd say to members, Did you vote for the appropriations bill? The defense bill? The highway bill? They'd all say yes. And I'd say, Well, then you gotta pay the bill.
Gephardt asked the parliamentarian to devise a mechanism that would deem automatic House passage without a vote of a bill raising the debt ceiling upon passage of a concurrent budget resolution. The rationale was that the real decisions on taxes, spending, and borrowing were made in the context of the budget, and therefore the debt ceiling should accommodate the agreed upon level of borrowing.
But there was a serious flaw with this procedure passage of a budget resolution, which did not carry the force of law triggered automatic passage of a House bill to raise the debt ceiling, which was then typically approved by the Senate and signed into law by the president. The budget could then be broken, increased, waived, or otherwise disregarded. In effect, the increase in the debt ceiling was tied into passage of a budget that may or may not have resembled the actual levels of taxes and spending that Congress would enact through separate legislation.
Now that the Gephardt Rule is gone, Senate Democrats dont even bothering passing a budget at all. This is likely to be their fourth year in a row without one, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray has already suggested.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee has suggested using the debt ceiling to force Democrats into the budget process. I think it should be a firm principle that we should not raise the debt ceiling until we have a plan on how the new borrowed money will be spent, Sessions recently told Byron York of the Washington Examiner.
If House leadership follows his lead, they can make an eminently reasonable case for the Senate to finally pass a budget as a precondition to any debt ceiling deal, enforced with an automatic reversion of the debt ceiling to its prior level if the Senate fails to pass a budget on time. The principle of requiring a budget before authorizing additional debt could then be incorporated into a reformed federal budget process to avoid future debt ceiling brinksmanship.
House Republicans could even consider offering to restore the Gephardt Rule in exchange for passage of process reforms that would make the budget legally binding, require a two-thirds supermajority to exceed budgeted spending levels, and use a sequester mechanism to keep overall appropriations in line with the budget. The idea would be to force Congress to set priorities and make tradeoffs in the context of a meaningful constraint with the debt ceiling attached as leverage to force the House and Senate to come to agreement.
With a functioning budget process and intense political pressure from the American people many of whom are now rallying with renewed energy around a demand for a balanced budget in the next decade we could finally have a serious debate about how to get federal spending under control.
Politicians(Rats n Rinos) will say anything, do anything to get in power. Once they are in power, everything stated is disregarded. That is the way of the world.
Poor author probably didn’t realize the GOP demand for a budget in exchange for a debt ceiling hike was already being surrendered by the GOPe.
As I asked another poster in another thread, do you not realize that we only have the House and with out the Senate we can do nothing
Sounds pretty simple to me. Unfortunately, the GOP leadership in the House and Senate are made up exclusively of ignorant cowards who can't wait to cave in to any and all of Obama's demands.
Considering that the House will probably give him that as well, tell me who is really in control of the House. John Boehner? Or the Democrats.
Republicans have the House, not conservatives
Mr boehner will cave in 5, 4, 3, 2, .....
Sounds good, but it’s already accomplished its purpose: Sounding good.
The Stupid party never gets credit for it, either. No progress is made, whereby the other side feels an obligation to reciprocate. Each next time the disaster clock is reset, the MSM uh-oh machine revs back up, and if Pubs don’t cave immediately it’s brinksmanship on their part. When they finally do cave, they get no credit because all anyone remembers is they extremist budget jihadists brought us to the brink.
Then again, we never gave credit to Obama and company for previuos caves on the Bush tax cuts and such. But we knew that was only to cover their assessed for reelection, and come on. That was only a handful of times in budget battle after budget battle where spenders and hikers get their way time after time after time.
“Give Bozo money for 90 days with the stipulation that the Senate will present a budget to Congress on day 80. If nothing is done, on day 90, spending will return to 2006 levels.
Then every day the republicans should run ads about how the Senate democrats are forcing the debt onto our grandchildren and cutting back is the only way we can be saved.
Someone in the GOP needs to either get a set of cajones or hire an ad firm that does.”
I posted this on the 17th. Yesterday Krauthammer and company talked about a 90 day deal based on the Senate putting a budget together.
I contend they read this site and they are using my idea. / sarc
That sounds good, but notice how it all hinges on marketing. But that’s exactly the problem: we always get blamed, and so we always cave. I don’t see anything inherent to your proposal that’d deprive Dems and the MSM of all the old tricks they played on Newt and Boner.
By the way, your trap is based on pressuring the Senate to pass a budget. But that pressure is already there, and has been for years. Their budgetary lassitude is unprecedented in the history of the Republic, and no one gives a crap! I’m not even certain Joe Netflix even knows there is no budget, much less who’s to blame.
They have to make their point, run ads, ridicule the Democrats and leave it at that.
I would go so far to call the Dems in the Senate cowards and Obama is not going to see a red cent until they put forth a budget.
We need to make 2014 as painful for the Dems in the Senate as possible and we need to start now. Make them spend their campaign money early.
What’s amazing is we haven’t HAD a Budget in years - and, no one cares!