Monday, July 18, 2011

McConnell Debt Ceiling Plan

Whenever I tell people I like politics there seems to be a lot of head shaking. They also tend to give me that "you crazy" look and leave it at that. While we all love what we love, I can totally understand their surprise. Far too often politics is full of shady business and pointless political maneuvering. No politician is above this and it can be frustrating as hell. The most recent case of political grandstanding that stood out to me was Mitch McConnell's debt ceiling plan.

Also, did you know when you google McConnell's name this comes up:

I don't know why I find that horribly amusing. Anyways, since McConnell knows defaulting would be bad for Republicans politically, he's come up with a plan that would avoid default while also allowing the GOP to sit back and point fingers without having to actually do anything.

Mitch McConnell Debt Ceiling Plan:
Under current law, Congress raises the debt ceiling, which allows the Treasury Department to issue more bonds to pay off debts and fund projects that Congress has already authorized. Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize or appropriate new spending, but merely settles old bills.

Yet under McConnell's plan, which he called his "last-choice option," the White House would request an increase in the debt ceiling and Congress could only block that request with a veto-proof super majority -- effectively ceding control over the debt limit to the White House. A super majority would likely be difficult to amass, especially when neither party's leadership genuinely wants the nation to default...

If that sounds complicated, it's because it is. The process laid out by McConnell would begin with the president requesting a $700 billion increase in the debt limit. As soon as Congress received the request, $100 billion of that $700 billion would be released to give Washington some breathing room to let them get past Aug. 2.

But then, McConnell's proposal would proceed to introduce a resolution of disapproval, rather than approval, putting Congress in the position of taking a popular vote -- against raising the debt ceiling. If Congress approved the resolution of disapproval, Obama would then have to take another step toward owning the debt increase by vetoing the resolution. The resolution would then go back to Congress, where the White House would have to lobby Democratic lawmakers against voting to override the veto. A two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate is required to override a veto, and so yet another vote on the debt ceiling would be taken, and as many as 66 of 100 senators and 289 of 435 members of the House could vote against raising the debt ceiling, without actually preventing an increase in the debt limit.
I think this is what they call "having your cake and eating it too."

As usual, Jon Stewart gets it right:

Overall this is exactly the type of political move that keeps people frustrated with politics in general. They like to think they're voting for people who will actually fight for their behalf. No whether or not that's entirely accurate is up for debate, but people still don't like to see their party fold.


  1. I was shaking my head when I was watching this too. I know all parties are guilty of these sorts of things, but these past 2 years seem to have been very extreme. Republicans know what is good for the country, but they refuse to do it because it would mean they had to eat a bit of crow and admit that sometimes the Democrats are right about things. Instead of just sucking it up, they want to take the cowardly way out, not only dragging out this process and wasting time/money on it, but forcing it to come to a vote where what needs to be done gets done and they hold no responsibility for it.

    If the economy does a 180 in the next 12 months, I wonder how they'll spin it so that they can say they fixed it.

  2. Probably that they did what they were elected to do (without any evidence of such of course) lol.

    I hate to sound overly cynical, but the truth is Republicans benefit from a crappy economy. And after all the "Obama's a Muslim" crap, it's hard to believe they'd put politics aside to actually help people.

  3. Wow, now that I have seen McConnell as a turtle, I cannot un-see it.


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