Pryor a no vote on raising the debt ceiling?

posted at 12:15 pm on April 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama says that arguing over an adjustment to the statutory debt ceiling is irresponsible.  Tim Geithner calls it “playing chicken” with the nation’s finances.  They are trying to convince the American public that raising the limit is mainstream and its opponents are extremists, but their latest opponent flips that argument on its head:

Sen. Mark Pryor said Wednesday he won’t vote to raise the federal government’s borrowing limit unless there’s a commitment to address the nation’s debt by cutting spending and overhauling the tax code. …

“What I’ve told anyone who will listen to me in Washington, including my leadership, is that I’m not going to vote for that unless there is a real and meaningful commitment to debt reduction,” Pryor told the group at its monthly meeting at the governor’s mansion.

What makes Pryor different?  He’s a Democrat, not a Republican, which makes the White House demonization campaign a little harder to employ.

Pryor isn’t even known as a particular firebreather or aisle-crosser, not like Joe Lieberman on the war or Zell Miller when he served in the Senate.  Furthermore, Pryor isn’t up for re-election in 2012.  Pryor doesn’t have to worry about an election until 2014.

But plenty of other Democrats are up for re-election in 2012, and in states that are going to be decidedly less friendly to Democrats.  If Pryor crosses the aisle on the debt limit, that puts pressure on people like Joe Manchin, who has to face his West Virginia constituents next year, as well as already-endangered incumbents like Claire McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, and more.  Assuming Republicans hold firm, only two more need to cross the aisle on the debt-ceiling vote to produce a tie, and three to take the matter out of Joe Biden’s hands altogether.

The White House is going to have to agree to attach some sort of meaningful reform to the debt-ceiling hike to get it passed.  That will have to take the form of either entitlement changes that significantly reduce outlays or a massive shift in the tax code — or preferably all of the above.  Pryor just made it clear that there will be no “clean” debt-ceiling hike, and that the Obama administration will have to pay dearly to get its borrowing power extended.

Update: Perhaps sensing this, Republicans on the Hill are trying to use their leverage to the maximum:

One day after being named to a presidential task force to negotiate deficit reduction, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor fired off a stark warning to Democrats that the GOP “will not grant their request for a debt limit increase” without major spending cuts or budget process reforms.

The Virginia Republican’s missive is a clear escalation in the long-running Washington spending war, with no less than the full faith and credit of the United States hanging in the balance.

In the most recent budget battle — over a six-month spending bill — Republican leaders carefully avoided threatening to shut down the government. Now, Cantor says he’s ready to plunge the nation into default if the GOP’s demands are not met. People close to Cantor say that he hopes to make clear that small concessions from Democrats, including President Barack Obama, will not be enough to deliver the GOP on a debt increase.

Will they get those large concessions?  They did manage to get Obama to keep tax rates at the current level in December despite having control of, well, nothing at that time.  Obama could also be thinking of 2012 and the ability to run as a triangulator.  Given what happened in December and this month on the budget, Senate Democrats like Harry Reid have to be thinking that they need to cut a deal before Obama cuts their legs out from underneath them a third time.


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Barack Obama says that arguing over an adjustment to the statutory debt ceiling is irresponsible. Tim Geithner calls it “playing chicken” with the nation’s finances.
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They sure do have their nerve,er,audacity!!

canopfor on April 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Come on r’s you can’t play nice with a rattlesnake, it will bite you everytime you try to pet it. Do not trust the d’s to keep their word, especially bho he lies and lies.
L

letget on April 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Sen. Mark Pryor said Wednesday he won’t vote to raise the federal government’s borrowing limit unless there’s a commitment to address the nation’s debt by cutting spending and overhauling the tax code.

Maybe he could drop that in Boehner’s suggestion box?

sharrukin on April 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM

He can agree to anything and then create a signing statement to renig to said agreement….

It’s dear leaders way

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Do not trust this weasel, please!

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Looks like someone doesn’t want to get Blanche Lincolned in 2014…

steebo77 on April 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM

He can agree to anything and then create a signing statement to renig to said agreement….

It’s dear leaders way

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Michelle Bachmann trusts him.

sharrukin on April 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

He can agree to anything and then create a signing statement to renig to said agreement….

It’s dear leaders way

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 12:23 PM

cmsinaz:That sounds like Clinton,signing sumpin at
4 AM!:)

canopfor on April 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Whatever happened to BHO´s “promise” to cut the deficit in half??

gullxn on April 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I’m enjoying the overall show of Obama digging his own grave. Between this, gas prices, class warfare and his real personality shining through going forward, he’s toast.

NJ Red on April 21, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Assuming Republicans hold firm …

ROFLMFAO!!

HondaV65 on April 21, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Given what happened in December and this month on the budget, Senate Democrats like Harry Reid have to be thinking that they need to cut a deal before Obama cuts their legs out from underneath them a third time.

Heehee!

DO IT BARRY, DO IT!!

KeepOhioRed on April 21, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Bbbbbbbut, bbbbbbut all the polls say the Republicans will get creamed on this by Obama and 2012 will be a Republican blood bath unless they raise taxes on the rich and spend more.

angryed on April 21, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Whatever happened to BHO´s “promise” to cut the deficit in half??

gullxn on April 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

That “promise” expired about a minute later as he proposed a massive new spending measure, most likely ObamaCare.

rmel80 on April 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

*shudder* sharrukin

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Whatever happened to BHO´s “promise” to cut the deficit in half??

gullxn on April 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

It’s on his to do list. Right after ending the war in Iraq, closing Gitmo and getting C-Span cameras into every one of his meetings.

angryed on April 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Update: Perhaps sensing this, Republicans on the Hill are trying to use their leverage to the maximum:

As much as I hate the word “bipartisan,” the GOP should be using it in every sound bite to make it clear that they are not alone in their opposition to raising the debt ceiling.

UltimateBob on April 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM


Debt Limit Justice!

/

Seven Percent Solution on April 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Yepper Canopfor :)

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Whatever happened to BHO´s “promise” to cut the deficit in half??

gullxn on April 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

That’s in his second term.
/getalife

ladyingray on April 21, 2011 at 12:43 PM

I am sure that I am not the first to say this but why even have a debt ceiling if it always turns out to be this meaningless. Each time we get in this position the “end of the worlders” come out and tell us catastrophe awaits if we don’t raise it and, bingo, up it goes. No change in behavior, no recognition that fiscal discipline needs to exist, just bump the number up and keep going.

It’s like alcoholics saying that they are going to only have one more drink and then that’s the last one.

mrveritas on April 21, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Rove has been all over the foxnews shows touting that Obama is setting up the Rs over this issue. I forgot exactly how he phrased it. Has anyone else heard him? I have seen him 3 times these past 2 days.

karenhasfreedom on April 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Pryor’s between a rock and a hard place.

Voting against the party will get him primaried like Lincoln was last year.

Voting with the party will make it easy for the inevitable Republican challenger to wipe the floor with him since Arkansas is turning very red.

teke184 on April 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM

He can agree to anything and then create a signing statement to renig renege to said agreement….

It’s dear leaders way

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 12:23 PM

You are 100% correct on the substance. Please heed the spelling correction, lest you be frivolously accused of racism by those who do such things!

Mary in LA on April 21, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Looks like someone doesn’t want to get Blanche Lincolned in 2014…

steebo77 on April 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM

You know it’s bad when your name gets turned into a verb. Just ask Robert Bork.

parteagirl on April 21, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Whatever happened to BHO´s “promise” to cut the deficit in half??

gullxn on April 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

He confused “dividing by 2″ with “multiplying by 2.” This is one reason why math is so hard for liberals.

fesofee on April 21, 2011 at 12:50 PM

We don’t need a meaningful commitment to debt reduction. We need a meaningful commitment to reduction of the deficit. You can’t get to debt reduction without eliminating the deficit.

And the GOP needs to pound just as hard on the table for eliminating regulations that prevent economic growth as it does on the need to reducing spending. And one big area is to increase oil production, which will have the double effect of increasing employment and reducing the drag that rising oil prices are having on economy. I’m sure there are others areas that would help but this one issue is a glowing neon sign of a problem.

Dusty on April 21, 2011 at 12:53 PM

karenhasfreedom on April 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM

He said on Greta last night that once QE2 stops the economy is going south and the dems will blame it all on the GOP’s failure to raise the debt limit.

fesofee on April 21, 2011 at 12:53 PM

What makes Pryor different? He’s a Democrat, not a Republican, which makes the White House demonization campaign a little harder to employ.

Trouble in paradise?

Chip on April 21, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Trying to extract substantive change this way, via threatening a national debt default within a month or two, is pretty dumb. But it may be a tactic well suited to an administration that refuses to negotiate until it absolutely has to do so.

MTF on April 21, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Rove has been all over the foxnews shows touting that Obama is setting up the Rs over this issue. I forgot exactly how he phrased it. Has anyone else heard him? I have seen him 3 times these past 2 days.

karenhasfreedom on April 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM

karenhasfreedom:I left you linkys on last nights QOTD Thread
on Jerome Corsi’s interview on CoasttoCoast
Radio show,on Obama’s birth certificate,in
his new book!:)

canopfor on April 21, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Tim Geithner calls it “playing chicken” with the nation’s finances.

Then what the heck does Geithner call the way he has been playing with the nation’s finances?!!! His handling of the finances has been a proverbial game of “Russian Roulette” with all barrells loaded since he got to Washington!

pilamaye on April 21, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Now, Cantor says he’s ready to plunge the nation into default if the GOP’s demands are not met.

Who’s words are those?

Count to 10 on April 21, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Assuming Republicans hold firm …

ROFLMFAO!!

HondaV65 on April 21, 2011 at 12:37 PM

You know what happens when you assume!

j_galt on April 21, 2011 at 1:14 PM

The debt limit will be raised. Don’t doubt it for a second. Republicans will cave. They always cave. Their just playing their parts and collecting their checks.

j_galt on April 21, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Treasury Hopes To Auction Off $99 Billion In Bonds Next Week… But Can It?

“Earlier today, the Treasury announced its auction schedule for next week consisting of $99 billion in new bond issuance (2 Year, 5 Year, and 7 Year). There may be a slight problem with that actually being legally allowed. Here’s why…”

Emperor Norton on April 21, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Now, Cantor says he’s ready to plunge the nation into default if the GOP’s demands are not met.

Politico Liberals

I expect these sorts of out-and-out lies from Politico, but I would hope that Ed would correct the asinine quotes he posts on HotAir.

No, Cantor did not say “he’s ready to plunge the nation into default”, nor does a no-vote on raising the debt ceiling mean any such thing. It will, of course, immediately put the print-and-spend government funding process into crisis, but that crisis can be resolved by not spending money.

Jaibones on April 21, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Obama: I want to raise the debt ceiling by $1T

Republicans: No way, we are fighting you.

Obama: Let’s compromise

Republicans: OK you can raise it by $997B.

Obama: Cool

Republicans: Look how awesome we are conservatives, we just won a HUGE battle with Obama.

angryed on April 21, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Not raising the Debt ceiling does not equal Default.

We still take in revenue every day, we just don’t have the large reserves on hand like we would have if we borrowed all at once.

DO NOT raise the debt. Start Paying on it now.

MadDogF on April 21, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Republicans: Look how awesome we are conservatives, we just won a HUGE battle with Obama.

angryed on April 21, 2011 at 1:20 PM

You Republicans are awesome! We will vote you into office again and again! – Conservatives.

j_galt on April 21, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Thanks Mary :)

*whew*

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 1:30 PM

The US government can certainly live on $2 Trillion of income per year.

Do not raise the debt ceiling.

Real ‘reform’ will happen once everyone realizes that we cannot go on spending like this, and only not raising the ceiling will do this.

Stop playing games.

Stop the spending.

ajacksonian on April 21, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Not raising the Debt ceiling does not equal Default.

We still take in revenue every day, we just don’t have the large reserves on hand like we would have if we borrowed all at once.

DO NOT raise the debt. Start Paying on it now.

[MadDogF on April 21, 2011 at 1:26 PM]

Dude, didn’t you read that the government is now handing out more money now for various entitlements — SS, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, foodstamps, housing assistance, etc, — than we are taking in in revenues?

How do we do what you suggest?

Dusty on April 21, 2011 at 1:32 PM

This is where to take a stand unlike the 2011 budget everybody was so upset about. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, it will force us to service debt with cash not credit, and make real cuts in the budget Republicans should tell the Dems that if they can’t stay within the debt limit, they should have abolished it when they were a majority, and when the libs scream that Republicans voted to raise it in the past, they should just say, “This ain’t your George W. Bush Republican Party anymore!”

cartooner on April 21, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Michelle Bachmann trusts him.

sharrukin on April 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

And you get this

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Vyce on April 21, 2011 at 1:36 PM

“Since March 1962, the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times, according to the Congressional Research Service. Ten of those times have occurred since 2001.”

But this time will be different. THIS time will be different. Say it with me! THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT! TEA PARTY! YEAH!

j_galt on April 21, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Vyce on April 21, 2011 at 1:36 PM

I suppose to someone like you it makes perfect sense to trust a habitual lier. It doesn’t make sense to most people.

sharrukin on April 21, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Here’s a crazy idea. Automatically raise the debt ceiling every year by the amount of GDP growth less 0.5%. This way we don’t have the will they / won’t they drama but the debt ceiling will fall every year relative to total GDP and it forces govt to cut spending.

angryed on April 21, 2011 at 1:42 PM

clear escalation in the long-running Washington spending war, with no less than the full faith and credit of the United States hanging in the balance.

plunge the nation into default if the GOP’s demands are not met.

Politico. Spit!

Vince on April 21, 2011 at 1:48 PM

How do we do what you suggest?

Dusty on April 21, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Quit paying the thieves?

MadDogF on April 21, 2011 at 1:50 PM

I suppose to someone like you it makes perfect sense to trust a habitual lier. It doesn’t make sense to most people.
sharrukin on April 21, 2011 at 1:40 PM

He is a habitual liar. But it is a logical fallacy to assert that Bachmann or anyone who accepts the President as a natural-born citizen (especially considering he has submitted proof of that, even if you don’t think such proof is sufficient) thus trusts him on every other issue.

Vyce on April 21, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Rove has been all over the foxnews shows touting that Obama is setting up the Rs over this issue. I forgot exactly how he phrased it. Has anyone else heard him? I have seen him 3 times these past 2 days.

karenhasfreedom on April 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM

I try not to pay much attention to Rove these days. He doesn’t seem to be saying anything new or useful.

UltimateBob on April 21, 2011 at 1:53 PM

But it is a logical fallacy to assert that Bachmann or anyone who accepts the President as a natural-born citizen (especially considering he has submitted proof of that, even if you don’t think such proof is sufficient) thus trusts him on every other issue.

Vyce on April 21, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Well sure I understand. George Stephanopoulos had the birth certificate right there in his hand. /

sharrukin on April 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Saying “all we have to do is go back to the tax rates under Clinton” is effectively saying “all we need is another asset price bubble that funnels a huge amount of money into the pockets of the rich”. This seems neither particularly feasible, nor desirable.

This certainly explains why there is enthusiasm for “cap-and-trade” in the Democratic side of the Congress

J_Crater on April 21, 2011 at 2:11 PM

the GOP “will not grant their request for a debt limit increase” without major spending cuts or budget process reforms.

“Major spending cuts” like Boehner brokered in his latest deal with the devil.

“Or budget process reforms”, damn. Without specifying exactly what an adequate “budget process reform” would be, it would only amount to be more of the same “overcharge” RESET kickbacks, certainly less transparency.

If fiscal strength is the matter, then the ONLY RELEVANT POINT is to refuse any higher debt ceiling. Maintaining the debt ceiling is itself a non-achievement compared to LOWERING THE DEBT CEILING.

The Republican leadership won’t even maintain the current debt ceiling while making cuts. Raising the ceiling nullifies any accomplishment propagandized deceitfully as a budget cut given more spending.

But actually counting on Pryor to vote no on raising the debt ceiling is foolish. Recall the lesson learned by the Nebraska Democrat “social conservative” who wouldn’t vote for OBAMACARE because it contained funding for abortions.

/Trump should take notice of the many corrupt deals that Obama has made rather than feign that Obama doesn’t make deals, as if Trump is the only deal-maker in town.

maverick muse on April 21, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Is it still called hush money when everyone can hear it?

j_galt on April 21, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Quit paying the thieves?

[MadDogF on April 21, 2011 at 1:50 PM]

That would make a small dent in the outgoing revenue stream, but I doubt it would be enough to address the imbalance we’re now seeing between revenue and entitlement spending.

We need to quickly increase revenue via legislation spurring economic growth. That will simultaneously take the pressure off the entitlement spending and increase revenue. Once we have that breathing room, or, better, coincident to that, we can reduce spending.

We need to help the marketplace employ people and the only way to jump start the economy is to remove regulation impeding it.

I’m all for using the debt limit vote(s) as a bludgeon and since commitments sell for a dime a dozen in Washington, I’d recommend voting for a rise in the debt ceiling that would get us through a month, at most, with all sorts of provisos, which if not acted upon would be reason for not voting on it in the next month.

Dusty on April 21, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Rove has been all over the foxnews shows touting that Obama is setting up the Rs over this issue. I forgot exactly how he phrased it. Has anyone else heard him? I have seen him 3 times these past 2 days.

karenhasfreedom on April 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Karl who?

Who cares what that little shit blossom has to say?

Mcguyver on April 21, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Now, Cantor says he’s ready to plunge the nation into default if the GOP’s demands are not met.

Politico Liberals

I expect these sorts of out-and-out lies from Politico, but I would hope that Ed would correct the asinine quotes he posts on HotAir.

No, Cantor did not say “he’s ready to plunge the nation into default”, nor does a no-vote on raising the debt ceiling mean any such thing. It will, of course, immediately put the print-and-spend government funding process into crisis, but that crisis can be resolved by not spending money.

Jaibones on April 21, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Exactly – the leftist propagandist hacks at Politico merely echo the Obama talking points. There is no reason to default, even if revenues are falling short. One possible condition to attach is a permanent statute directing that interest on mature debt be paid first. That way, default is always off the table.

Of course, there might not be enough cash flow for Brazilian vacations then . . .

Adjoran on April 21, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Mark, son of David, Pryor is doing two things here: First, he’s seeming to act like a dem of the 70′s and secondly, he realizes that what happened to Lincoln in ’10 can happen to him in ’14 (he should if he’s read my emails). I don’t think he would announce such a position IF he thought his NO vote would actually result in the debt ceiling increase not passing. For him, it’s Kabuki theater time…

Gohawgs on April 22, 2011 at 12:53 AM

WTF is it with this nonsense, “The Virginia Republican’s missive is a clear escalation in the long-running Washington spending war, with no less than the full faith and credit of the United States hanging in the balance?”

All hitting the debt ceiling means is that the government must stop optional spending to take up the slack. Debt payments can and must continue. (That includes debt service to Social Security.) But the rest of the government will have to trim ship and face a de facto budget decrease.

Hitting the limit without an automatic increase is no big deal. We’ve done that several times before and dealt with it quite successfully. It’s time to repeat the performance and stop this crazy over the top nonsense rhetoric.

{^_^}

herself on April 22, 2011 at 4:30 PM