McConnell announces fallback plan: Let’s give Obama the power to raise the debt ceiling himself

posted at 4:11 pm on July 12, 2011 by Allahpundit

NRO has a step-by-step rundown of how things would work legislatively, but it’s baroque. You’re better off with Guy Benson’s user-friendly explanation. This is, quite simply, an enabling statute:

Now that the table is set, here’s how the proposed plan would work: Republicans in Congress would agree to vote to authorize the president to propose three separate incremental debt ceiling increases, spaced over the remainder of his term. He would be required to couple each request with a corresponding set of spending cuts that exceed the dollar amount of his sought-after debt limit hike. These cuts would be of his choosing alone. The first pair of requests would come prior to the August 2 deadline. It would be for roughly $700 Billion. The next requests, for $900 Billion, would come in the fall, and the final tranche (also for $900 Billion) would be scheduled for summer of 2012 — in the thick of the campaign cycle.

In all likelihood, on each occasion, Republicans would overwhelmingly vote to disapprove of the president’s debt ceiling increase request. This allows GOP members (and almost certainly some vulnerable Democrats) to technically vote “no” on raising the debt ceiling. If, as is likely, simple majorities in both houses vote to disapprove of the president’s requests, he’d be forced to veto each disapproval, pinging the issue back to Capitol Hill. If Congress can’t override those vetos with 2/3 majorities (and Republicans won’t have the votes, even with some Democrats), the debt ceiling will increase. But not without the exacting a substantial political price from the president and his allies in Congress. They will own the debt ceiling hike. Period. Members of Congress who vote with the president will set themselves up to be targeted by brutal attack ads (“so-and-so has voted to increase the national debt limit three times in the last year alone,” etc).

It sounds complicated but it’s not. This achieves two things in one fell swoop: (1) it provides a nearly foolproof mechanism to avoid default armageddon in case the two sides can’t make a deal by August 2, which will reassure markets, and (2) by investing Obama with near-unilateral power to raise the ceiling (it’s not fully unilateral because Congress could, in theory, override him with a 2/3 vote), it makes him almost wholly responsible for the debt hike, which will be a major political liability with the election around the corner and a plurality of voters still more worried about raising the ceiling than letting a default happen. After a month of shrieking from lefty legal experts about how the Fourteenth Amendment supposedly lets O ignore the ceiling, here’s McConnell calling their bluff. You want to own America’s debt problem? Enjoy.

Dave Weigel says he can’t see why any Republican would vote for something like this when Obama already owns the debt problem. The answer: Because if talks break down and default looms, which seems increasingly likely given even moderate Dems’ demands for tax concessions and the House GOP’s unhappiness with a medium-sized debt deal, it almost certainly won’t be Obama who owns the fallout. For a variety of reasons, including but not limited to media Narrative-building and The One’s own determined efforts to position himself as a “centrist pragmatist” even if it means reducing the chances of making a deal, it’ll be the GOP who bears the brunt politically. (A Pew poll taken last month found 42 percent would blame Republicans if no deal got done versus 33 percent who’d blame the White House.) McConnell’s bill is anticipating that and trying to salvage a political victory from likely defeat by punting the whole mess to The One if no deal can be reached. It’ll be horribly, horribly disappointing if the big debt-ceiling showdown results in nothing more than a few trillion in cuts of Obama’s own choosing, but the alternative if talks break down is no cuts at all, a possible economic tailspin, and endless media shrieking about how this never would have happened if it not for those darned wingnuts and their fetish for rich people.

Long story short, the debt-ceiling showdown was a big gamble and this is McConnell’s way of hedging the party’s bets at the eleventh hour. Unsatisfying, but if it happens and O faces a nasty backlash for raising the ceiling, it’s a compelling argument next year for why we need a Republican president and more Republican congressmen. A serious deal on long-term sustainability simply isn’t possible with the left in control of one or more branches of government. If the GOP wants to do this, they’ll have to do it themselves. And then reap the consequences.

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As I stated in an earlier where this was first mentioned…

“WE’RE IN DEEEP DOOO-DOOO”.

SouthernGent on July 12, 2011 at 5:52 PM

As long as the amounts the debt limit can be raised are only enough to get the U.S. through to the end of 2012 and as long as there is a sunset provision in the bill ending this procedure as of January 15, 2013, I’m actually o.k. with this.

We are not going to get anything reasonable out of Obama and the Senate dems. They are screaming about the debt ceiling and default. Let them eat it and use it in the next election. After that we can hopefully work with a GOP President, Senate and House to do some real structural reform and spending cuts and work toward dealing with the issue.

Monkeytoe on July 12, 2011 at 5:49 PM

I think that is the idea, I just hope it works that way..but then again, I am not so sure that it is a serious proposal anyway. I think the whole thing is like a game of chicken.

Terrye on July 12, 2011 at 5:53 PM

ok, i’ve been to nro. the plan is brilliant. barry winds up holding all the cards…he gets to do everything and still gets the rise in debt ceiling.

i know there’s a lot of angst…but i laughed and laughed when i read the nro piece. they are calling barry’s bluff. the Rs can no longer be blamed..it is all up to barry.

there will still be bleating from the obama-run media that We Need To Raise Taxes Morons…but actually the Rs are correct that anything except the most minor of taxes will slow the economy. Everyone knows this. It is called Fiscal Tightening…which may be fine if the economy is getting frothy…but not now.

Watch for all the lefstists to go hysterical on this. They get a clean 2T debt increase…and they will go hysterical.

The left/media goal is to blame the Rs for the forthcoming recession. Rs now say, yeah we need an acommidative strategy…straight out of Keynes….the Left will go hysterical

r keller on July 12, 2011 at 5:54 PM

What don’t you understand about stalemate? This is not an issue of leadership. This is an issue of votes. We have most of one part of Congress. All the leadership in the world won’t make a difference if you don’t have the votes.

This is what I don’t get. There are lots of you threatening to leave the GOP next time. But most of the reason we are in this mess is because in 2008 people stayed home rather than vote for a less than perfect candidate. But this is not a perfect world or a perfect system. Fight all you want to get good people to run. Argue for the policies you want. But then realize that if you back out and don’t vote for someone who is at least close to your beliefs, the other side wins.
Someone said in this thread (or maybe another one today) that maybe we’d be better off with a dictator for a few years so we could reset the system. That is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. That’s as bad as the Skittles and unicorn talk of the other side. It is not reality-based.
It takes real guts to attempt to make a difference in an imperfect, flawed world. Expecting perfection out of the system or out of our leaders is childish and counterproductive. Time to grow up and do something with the hand we’ve been dealt.

rlyle on July 12, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Near-unilateral power? That is like the phrase “a little bit pregnant”. There is no such thing. There is no possible scenario where giving Obama or anyone “near” unilateral power is a good thing.

bitsy on July 12, 2011 at 5:56 PM

As usual HA commenters will allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.

Dukeboy01 on July 12, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Wasn’t Hitler the last to do enabling Acts? In 1933?

tarpon on July 12, 2011 at 5:56 PM

McConnell wants to give Obama power to raise the debt ceiling so he can keep the wars running without any protest all the while giving anti-Obama speeches when the cameras are pointed at him.

Spathi on July 12, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Yeah, it’s all about the wars.

LOL

Del Dolemonte on July 12, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Yeah, let’s totally surrender to the Dingbat Messiah! Why didn’t I think of that?

I guess that’s why I’m not the minority leader of the US Senate.

Really Right on July 12, 2011 at 5:59 PM

We are never going to be able to do anything serious about this problem until the GOP has full control. The best we can do is let Obama and the Dems take the blame while keeping the GOP’s fingerprints off of any disaster that happens. I think this is what McConnell is trying to do here. Anybody who thinks the GOP can move the Earth while only controlling the House is delusional.

Mark1971 on July 12, 2011 at 6:01 PM

rlyle on July 12, 2011 at 5:56 PM

You must be new to politics… Obama is at the ten yard line and only needs a few more ticks of the clock to score the winning touchdown; after that elections won’t matter for at least a generation.

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 6:05 PM

So, here’s the template for all future debt ceiling impasses:

President: If the Congressional [insert applicable party]
fail to increase the debt ceiling, I cannot guarantee [insert best-polled apocalypse].

Barnestormer on July 12, 2011 at 6:05 PM

I’m fine with this manoeuvre as is. If somehow Boehner and Mitch manage to cave, they are toast as in I expect (my expectant wish as punishment) the House to replace John forfeiture before the ink dries.

AH_C on July 12, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Thanks to the budget that Toomey and King have put together, along with new-media, I don’t think the Democrats can possibly get away with trying to blame a shutdown on Republican’s. If Obama attempts to hold up Social Security and military pay we have a bill ready to go to force him to pay them. Then the ball will be in the Democrats court. They’ll have to rebuff the Republican’s and refuse to force Obama to fund SS, so the blame will naturally fall on their shoulders and everybody will know it. The MSM will fail to stir up anger at the tea party just like they did after the shooting in Arizona.

FloatingRock on July 12, 2011 at 6:06 PM

McConnell’s career is just about to come to an end. This action should have the Republican Senators voting him out as minority leader of the Senate TODAY!

Freddy on July 12, 2011 at 6:06 PM

I can’t believe there are people willing to play this dangerous game when a much simpler solution exists.

Pass a bill with enough cuts to service debt and obligations through 2012. Let the Dems veto it. Same results without turning Obama into a dictator. Mitch is a fool. Does he think Obama is going to cut anything that benefits him? No! He’ll cut whatever helps his opponents and spend the extra money on his pet projects (mostly his campaign).

Pattosensei on July 12, 2011 at 6:06 PM

The House should pass a bill that cuts spending by $2.4 trillion in exchange for a 2.4 trillion debt ceiling hike. Then pass McConnell’s bill. If neither one can clear the Senate, well, that’s on the Democratic-controlled Senate. And Obama will not dare to veto either of them. And if he does, well, who’s to blame for a default then?

Lawdawg86 on July 12, 2011 at 6:08 PM

McConnell makes me want to puke.

Bugler on July 12, 2011 at 6:09 PM

So, here’s the template for all future debt ceiling impasses:

President: If the Congressional [insert applicable party]
fail to increase the debt ceiling, I cannot guarantee [insert best-polled apocalypse].

Barnestormer on July 12, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Yes, nice Social Security check you have there, it would be a tragedy if something happened to it.

Chip on July 12, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Anybody who thinks the GOP can move the Earth while only controlling the House is delusional.

Mark1971 on July 12, 2011 at 6:01 PM

The GOP controls the House and they can refuse to increase the debt ceiling.

That’s not delusional.

Bugler on July 12, 2011 at 6:12 PM

As usual HA commenters will allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.
Dukeboy01 on July 12, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I’ve sick of this adage abused by defeatists so that “good” becomes unacceptable compromise and the “perfect” is degraded into something we can no longer even imagine. No one expects perfection. But we insist that the good be supported so it can finally become the enemy of the corrupt. Because that’s what we’re facing — total corruption of our constitutional republic.

rrpjr on July 12, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Courtesy of Dan Foster, the most appropriate picture ever.

KingGold on July 12, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Terrye on July 12, 2011 at 5:41 PM wrote:

…what is this stuff about lobbyists? You sound like some lefty yakking about Wall Street and blah blah blah.

Boehner and McConnell are under intense pressure from Wall Street to increase the debt limit. Why do you think they refuse to just place their demands, which are very reasonable in comparison, on the table and walk away?

And I am not a lefty yakking about Wall Street. Crony capitalism that leads to the continued expansion in government and increased spending (eg. ethanol subsidies) is as bad as socialism leading to the same increase.

A lot of these Wall Street types also voted for Obama/Dems in 2008 – go figure!

…there is no way Obama is going to go for that and when it blows up he will blame Republicans and force a debt increase later after he refuses to send out social security check…

And who says he wouldn’t blame Republicans regardless of the outcome? Obama has his eye fixed on the price – his re-election – while the GOP leaders by a combination of ineptness and the lack of a spine have turned a debate on cutting spending to one of avoiding a tax increase.

Read the news! Now the GOP is on the defensive in relation to tax increases? Why allow Obama to put taxes on the table and yet refuse to put Obamacare, return of unused stimulus funds, and a host of wasteful initiatives from the last two years that have brought us to this point!

TheRightMan on July 12, 2011 at 6:14 PM

So many of my fellow TP members predicted this and almost to the day. The saying goes; Democrat and Republican establishment politicians are taking us to the same destination, one by rocket ship and the other by train. The new TP politicians will eventually take over power unless the establishment breaks the system before that can take place. Make no mistake about it, McConnell is a entrenched establishment politician who likely has been working with leading Democrats on this deal for a while now.

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Excuse me, but weren’t we told during Boehner budget deal debacle earlier this year (which was a disaster) that we should just accept it and save our powder for the “real” fight, i.e. the debt limit?

Now, the GOP leadership is surrendering to the socialists once again, and we’re supposed to just accept it????

Sorry, but I for one have had enough. Screw the GOP. The party is dead to me.

Norwegian on July 12, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Well, I feel sick, but unfortunately that’s been the norm for several years. I don’t know what to make of this, so I’m going listen.

If anyone is interested, Hugh Hewitt is going to have Marco Rubio on his show. Live stream: http://www.am1280thepatriot.com/

I don’t get it, and I don’t want to give president putz anything – especially a credit card. Let’s see how this thing works.

Cody1991 on July 12, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Norwegian on July 12, 2011 at 6:18 PM

The establishment Republicans (McCain, Graham, McConnell) must be replaced with people such as Rubio and West; this will take several election cycles. Don’t give up now old friend, we have made huge strides and they are in retreat. Flood McConnells lines with phone calls and emails. We have no choice that I can see, as the Democrat Party are owned by non Americans who are using them to destroy our country.

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 6:26 PM

From a Republican aide who would know on the sentiment regarding the contingency plan:

We, the House, hate this and it will not move. It would basically mean that the President only needs 1/3 of the either body to raise the debt limit, meaning that we would cede our majority status in the House. Can you imagine how insane this would make the grass roots/tea party—we have the numbers to stop an increase, but we completely give up and let Dems uphold a veto with a 1/3 vote. No way.

INC on July 12, 2011 at 6:27 PM

McConnell wants to give Obama power to raise the debt ceiling so he can keep the wars running without any protest all the while giving anti-Obama speeches when the cameras are pointed at him.

Spathi on July 12, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Yeah, it’s all about the wars.

LOL

Actually it is all about the so called “war on terrorism.”

McConnell wants to keep the funding going overseas. He doesn’t want to stop the debt ceiling like Ron Paul does.

GOP leadership= All Hat no Cattle.

Spathi on July 12, 2011 at 6:28 PM

The heat wave must be frying McConnell’s brain.

HellCat on July 12, 2011 at 6:28 PM

On a different note, I have a part time job in a store. It’s one of the “Dollar” stores. From several standpoints it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. Boy, am I getting an ear full from customers. I had not heard about the Zero’s threat about Social Security, and yes, that’s what it was. People were coming into the store screaming about, “him.” I asked them who they were talking about (away from the news for hours), and they said, “That SOB in the WH!!” Several of them were nearly hysterical with anger.

No, he’s not going to win any voters with this strategy.

Cody1991 on July 12, 2011 at 6:29 PM

What an afternoon.

kingsjester on July 12, 2011 at 6:30 PM

As news of the McConnell plan spread on Capitol Hill, a group of conservative GOP senators spent the afternoon huddling with their allies in the House. The group — Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.), Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah), and Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) — spent much of their time with House freshmen.

In two separate meetings, about 20 freshman Republicans welcomed the senators to the Cannon office building. Both closed-door talks focused entirely on hatching a shared debt-limit strategy, one where the Republican Study Committee’s “Cut, Cap and Balance” proposal would be linked to any extension. Attendees agreed that as other debt-limit options were floated, conservatives needed to hold firm.

INC on July 12, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Excuse me guys, but raw politics here for a second. If Obama gets any kind of bill passed reducing the deficit and raising the debt ceiling, it will help in 2012, no matter how insignificant the cuts are. It will help insulate him on the issue on which he is most vulnerable for relatively insignificant cuts to the deficit. And it will complicate making future cuts.

McConnell has the right approach. If we can’t force straight spending cuts, make Obama own all of the debt that he is racking up and preserve the issue for 2012. We can do this now, not get anything meaningful and help Obama in 2012, or we can weaken Obama by forcing him to raise the debt ceiling himself and wait til 2013 when we can get real reform (can you say “budget reconciliation”?).

Lawdawg86 on July 12, 2011 at 6:32 PM

We are never going to be able to do anything serious about this problem until the GOP has full control. The best we can do is let Obama and the Dems take the blame while keeping the GOP’s fingerprints off of any disaster that happens. I think this is what McConnell is trying to do here. Anybody who thinks the GOP can move the Earth while only controlling the House is delusional.

Mark1971 on July 12, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Another establishment shill! Go tell your masters that conservatives/Tea Partiers refuse to buy their crap! They can shove their proposal in Obama’s bowl of peas and feast on it with him.

Boehner and McConnell either deliver a victory for conservatives or step aside! I am willing to bet you $100,000 that Rand Paul, a political neophyte, would have brokered a better deal than these inept leaders!

They are playing with fire and 2012 will certainly mark a seismic shift in politics – the absolute annihilation of the RINOs!

TheRightMan on July 12, 2011 at 6:32 PM

We, the House, hate this and it will not move. It would basically mean that the President only needs 1/3 of the either body to raise the debt limit, meaning that we would cede our majority status in the House. Can you imagine how insane this would make the grass roots/tea party—we have the numbers to stop an increase, but we completely give up and let Dems uphold a veto with a 1/3 vote. No way.

INC on July 12, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Boehner is holding his own so far. The house has many TP freshman who are very popular right now. The Senate will come our way next year with several new TP members. McConnell must be held in check right now; we all need to get after him big time, as well as every GOP member of the Senate. As*wipes…

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 6:32 PM

These cuts would be of his choosing alone.

Today has been a long day for me. Stacking 500 or more 90 pound boards and panels and then spray painting them out in the hot sun with zero shade. So, I’m already fatigued and reading that above quote doesn’t make me feel any better.

JellyToast on July 12, 2011 at 6:34 PM

You must be new to politics… Obama is at the ten yard line and only needs a few more ticks of the clock to score the winning touchdown; after that elections won’t matter for at least a generation.

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 6:05 PM

You must be new to counting. All that can be done is to vote things down in the House and do some foot dragging in the Senate.

I absolutely agree with your assessment of where we are. The only reason we are in the game at all right now is because of what happened outside of the government. The Tea Party changed the game. It changed the way people look at the government, Unfortunately, it did not change enough seats in Congress to give us much of an edge. For that we will need another election cycle, and tearing each other up on the way to November only gives the advantage to the other side.

I absolutely agree that we shouldn’t give in and I support Boehner and McConnell and anyone else who is in there taking the hits.

I also agree that that we could easily lose a generation of elections and influence. All the more reason to avoid any divisions and find a way to build up our side and not tear it down.

In the end, none of the real action will take place on HA or on NRO or on any other site. It won’t take place talking to ourselves. It will take place out there where the Tea Party and others confront the real world.

rlyle on July 12, 2011 at 6:35 PM

At the risk of being flamed, watching the GOP flounder and give up convinces me that we lost this argument about the power of the federal govt. when FDR and the Dems were reelected by towering majorities in 1936.The people want their govt goodies and those who stand in the way get ground up.

xkaydet65 on July 12, 2011 at 6:37 PM

McConnell should be shot. This is the kind of insane RINO move that boosted the Tea Party. It’s why Obama got elected. RINOs aren’t just stupid when it comes to economics, they are stupid politicians. Steve Moore said it on Cavutto yesterday, all this armegeddon talk by the Dems is BS. “It’s a lie”.

JimP on July 12, 2011 at 6:37 PM

RedState
“Mitch McConnell Just Proposed the “Pontius Pilate Pass the Buck Act of 2011″

Ace of Spades HQ
“Although… If we’ve apparently already decided to give up then I guess this lame shit is better than nothing.”

Legal Insurection
“The problem is, standing firm now both is the right thing to do and may be just as good an electoral strategy. We don’t know how all this will play out, but backing down on a core principle which led to the 2010 electoral victory could just as easily fracture the Republican Party and lead to the electoral disaster we are trying to avert.”

Michelle Malkin
“Another mortifying McConnell head-banging-against-the-wall moment”

TPM
“The legislation would not give Obama unilateral authority to cut spending or reduce deficits. And as such, it represents a big policy cave by Republicans, who’ve long insisted that they would not raise the debt limit without enacting entitlement cuts long-sought by the conservative movement on a bipartisan basis.”
“This is the first public blink by the GOP, and a fairly significant abdication of their leverage.”

Heritage Action, Michael A. Needham
“The plan that we are reading reports about today is a serious walk back from that position and would seemingly trade the leverage needed to achieve reforms in return for political gains.”

Ezra Klein (WaPo, JourNoList)
“Mitch McConnell’s surprising proposal to empower Barack Obama”
“the debt ceiling offers a generational opportunity to extract huge concessions from the Democrats, then walking away from that leverage simply isn’t an option, and any member of the Republican leadership who proposes to do so has to be seen as intensely suspect.”

David Weigel (Slate, JourNoList) “The Mother of All Punts”

Viator on July 12, 2011 at 6:37 PM

The problem is that the Republicans do not have the votes to get a bill through the Senate even if they could get it through the House. And Boehner can not promise that the Tea Party people would vote for the raise at all in the House no matter what the conditions were. I think they would if the deal was good enough.

But that creates an impasse and that is the reality. And the press will always support Obama over the Republicans. Obama has come up with nothing that both sides can support and the media is letting him get away with it.

I think McConnell has come up with this complicate idea to protect Republicans from blowback and to further raise the ante. I honestly do not know if this can or will work. But I don’t think McConnell is just trying to sell out. I think it is more complicated than that.

Terrye on July 12, 2011 at 6:40 PM

rlyle on July 12, 2011 at 6:35 PM

O.K., fare enough…
Nice post KJ…

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 6:41 PM

One more reason to remove Barry…. aside from the hundreds we all know….. once reelected he will work diligently toward amending the 22d amendment to our constitution. Remember which amendment that is…. Presidential term limit is two. If he wins reelection and has a command of Congress, we will never see our country again as we know it.

Don’t over look this…it is just what his pal Hugo did and dear God don’t let this incompetent near another term in 2012. The single most important election in our country’s history.

highninside on July 12, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Don’t over look this…it is just what his pal Hugo did and dear God don’t let this incompetent near another term in 2012. The single most important election in our country’s history.

highninside on July 12, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Amen to that comrade… I’m hoping we can impeach the ba*tard for his part in Gun Runner.

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 6:45 PM

But not without the exacting a substantial political price from the president and his allies in Congress.

I would bury my face in both palms of my hands right now but I wouldn’t be able to type.
Should I laugh or should I cry? I just don’t know.

OK, (I will not use all caps! I will not use all caps!) Hey GOP! Have you noticed that Obama has already paid a substantial political price? Has it slowed him down for even a freaking second? Has it even made him pause for even a freaking moment? Do you think he really gives a royal rip about paying a “substantial political price” whatever that is suppose to mean?
And, if you don’t mind.. are you saying it’s ok for Obama to screw America over as long as it looks like your hands are clean?

JellyToast on July 12, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Another establishment shill! Go tell your masters that conservatives/Tea Partiers refuse to buy their crap! They can shove their proposal in Obama’s bowl of peas and feast on it with him.

Boehner and McConnell either deliver a victory for conservatives or step aside! I am willing to bet you $100,000 that Rand Paul, a political neophyte, would have brokered a better deal than these inept leaders!

They are playing with fire and 2012 will certainly mark a seismic shift in politics – the absolute annihilation of the RINOs!

TheRightMan on July 12, 2011 at 6:32 PM

I take it math is not your strong suit. The Republicans can not just hand you a victory when the Democrats control the Senate. They can not win a vote there without Democrat support. And some of those people in the House do not want to vote for a debt ceiling increase under any circumstances. That is the reality. And will there be annihilation of RINOs if there is default? I doubt it..I think the whole thing is who gets the blame.

Terrye on July 12, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Boehner is not up to the task, neither is McConnell. Boehner is afraid of calling out the president, it is that simple, he does not have the balls to lead

georgealbert on July 12, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Thanks, Keemo!

kingsjester on July 12, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Republican leader folds like cheap suit, says debt ceiling increase could occur without any spending cuts at all

“The debt-ceiling increase could occur without the companion spending cuts” McConnell said.

Spathi on July 12, 2011 at 6:48 PM

George Soros is laughing his a%s off…

Seven Percent Solution on July 12, 2011 at 6:49 PM

ARG poll today in Iowa has Ron Paul at 14% in Iowa in third place.

….4% behind Romney.

We’re going to win in Ames.

Spathi on July 12, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Has it even made him pause for even a freaking moment? Do you think he really gives a royal rip about paying a “substantial political price” whatever that is suppose to mean?
And, if you don’t mind.. are you saying it’s ok for Obama to screw America over as long as it looks like your hands are clean?

JellyToast on July 12, 2011 at 6:45 PM

This is why I admire you JT, you read through the BS quickly and came to the truth even faster. We can’t go on suffering much longer, as most of us have burned through our savings and such. We need solutions now, not in 2-3 years time. Jeez

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 6:49 PM

I must not be clever enough to understand why Republicans would give BO any power to shaft us unilaterally. Is McConnell that eager to pass the buck and hope that the country won’t get screwed? If the GOP can’t hold its own now why would we except it to grow backbones further down the road?

katiejane on July 12, 2011 at 6:49 PM

except = expect

katiejane on July 12, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

Headline: GOP Senators are itching to move on from spat over 2011 spending cuts

Senate Republicans are growing impatient with the stalemate over 2011 funding levels and want to save their political capital for a debate on the debt limit and entitlement reform.

But they must contend with a bloc of House conservatives who want an unqualified budget victory over President Obama.

For these die-hard conservatives, anything less than slashing $61 billion in spending and cutting funds for Planned Parenthood, the EPA and NPR would be a capitulation.

Senior Republican lawmakers, however, say they need to preserve their political juice for the fight over the debt limit and entitlement reform, which is more important.

They note that discretionary spending accounts for only 12 percent of the federal budget and that Congress needs to address the explosive issue of entitlement reform to achieve meaningful deficit reduction.

“There’s a sense that we don’t want to use too much of our political capital on last year’s budget battle,” said a senior Republican senator. “We just introduced our balanced budget amendment and we want to focus on that, the debt limit and the budget for 2012.

You can read more here.

A question to the Senior Republican Senators: what happened to the “save our political capital for the BIG fight over the debt limit…” Oh wait! We hand over power to Obama to increase the limit at his whim.

Why am I not surprised? As someone on this forum keeps saying: “The GOP will betray you.”

TheRightMan on July 12, 2011 at 6:52 PM

..Hume just stated on the Fox Panel that Republicans should pass it through the House with large spending cuts attached to it and a balanced budget amendment.

This puts it in the Senates lap and democrats would have to own it like their failed stimulus,Obamacare,and other failed policies that have the car “out of the ditch and heading off the cliff”.

Seems better to me than ceding more power to an inept President.

Baxter Greene on July 12, 2011 at 6:54 PM

it almost certainly won’t be Obama who owns the fallout

The meme alive and well!say it, report it, say it, report it…do a poll then repeat.
100% contingent on the R’s inability to explain the real deal…media be damned.
The rinos and chattering class will/are hard at work ensuring the R’s take the blame.

winston on July 12, 2011 at 6:57 PM

If the country defaults and it shakes the economy AT ALL, Obama will have a perfect scapegoat for crappy economic performance over the next year, a narrative the media will be more than happy to indulge. Let’s not do anything stupid that will give Obama four more years. Period.

Lawdawg86 on July 12, 2011 at 7:01 PM

I think the whole thing is who gets the blame.

Terrye on July 12, 2011 at 6:45 PM

NOPE! The whole thing is NOT who gets the blame but who gets screwed! And it’s certainly not going to be Obama, the Dems, nor the big Govt. RINOs.

I take it math is not your strong suit. The Republicans can not just hand you a victory when the Democrats control the Senate. They can not win a vote there without Democrat support. And some of those people in the House do not want to vote for a debt ceiling increase under any circumstances.

So if the Repubs. have so little power, why does it appear they are the ones pushing hard for the debt limit to be raised? You seriously think if we had a Dem House and a GOP White House/Senate, they would give a fig about compromising on a conservative priority? I do not use a debt limit analogy because Dems love the continued expansion of the nanny state so they will ALWAYS vote for an increase.

If you want to know how they truly feel when they are told to contribute their own money and are faced with cuts to the nanny state, then look to Wisconsin.

The GOP is in a win/win situation here and yet refuses to see it! They hold all the cards yet want to throw it away and that is what the McConnell proposal is.

TheRightMan on July 12, 2011 at 7:02 PM

The country will not default; there are articles from dozens of reliable sources (experts) detailing what will happen. Jeez this line of crap is getting so tiresome. Fear, fear, fear fear.. How bout we all find some courage and call the effing bluff.

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 7:04 PM

DO these old farts care abt the country at all? All they seem toc are abt is whether they get the blame or not.

promachus on July 12, 2011 at 7:05 PM

..Hume just stated on the Fox Panel that Republicans should pass it through the House with large spending cuts attached to it and a balanced budget amendment.

This puts it in the Senates lap and democrats would have to own it like their failed stimulus,Obamacare,and other failed policies that have the car “out of the ditch and heading off the cliff”.

Seems better to me than ceding more power to an inept President.

Baxter Greene on July 12, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Amen old friend… Effing McConnell was just issued new knee pads by Obama’s staff member, as the old ones wore holes through em…

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 7:06 PM

What is the URL for the recall McConnell website?

Spathi on July 12, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Boehner is not up to the task, neither is McConnell. Boehner is afraid of calling out the president, it is that simple, he does not have the balls to lead

georgealbert on July 12, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Evidence please. Both Boehner and McConnell have been standing up to the Pres for weeks. But the fact is, Obama has no plan. He has not put forward any specifics.

Leadership is about leverage. You either have ideas or power to to make that leverage work. Ultimately, even the best ideas or plans don’t give you enough leverage unless you have some power to back them up. Leadership only matters if you have the votes to back it up. Like it or not, there just aren’t enough votes behind Boehner and McConnell (even when they have the full backing of the GOP) to make a difference.

Put it another way. It’s not about balls. You can call out the other team on the football field, but if they are playing 11 and you have 5 behind you who is going to get their tail kicked? That may be your kind of masochistic dream, but it doesn’t win the game.

rlyle on July 12, 2011 at 7:06 PM

A question to the Senior Republican Senators: what happened to the “save our political capital for the BIG fight over the debt limit…” Oh wait! We hand over power to Obama to increase the limit at his whim.

Why am I not surprised? As someone on this forum keeps saying: “The GOP will betray you.”

TheRightMan on July 12, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Exactly. Then it was all about moving past that budget and getting things right abt the next one. Now it’s all abt 2011. Do they think we are fools?

promachus on July 12, 2011 at 7:07 PM

I love this plan. It basically ends with the end of Obama’s term and then it’s over. The nightmare is over.

mike_NC9 on July 12, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Amen old friend… Effing McConnell was just issued new knee pads by Obama’s staff member, as the old ones wore holes through em…

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 7:06 PM

..he will need a helmet also because the House is not going to capitulate.

Pass the dam# thing with spending cuts then let Reid and Obama own it.

Baxter Greene on July 12, 2011 at 7:11 PM

McConnell and Boehner give fiery speeches on the floor, and then they fold their cards immediately.

We need to stop the debt ceiling, but McConnell wants to keep funding the wars. He won’t stop the spending.

Spathi on July 12, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Putting the onus on the TOTUS is a great idea. Lets see what kind of decision Øbama comes up with. He is so bad a making decisions, I can wait for him to screw this up royally.

Dasher on July 12, 2011 at 7:12 PM

This is more evidence that FDR-Bush militaristic national security ideology is incompatible with fiscal conservatism.

Spathi on July 12, 2011 at 7:12 PM

So before Honda gets here and asks, I might as well pipe up for him: Why don’t the House Republicans just pass a debt limit increase in the House with $2 trillion in cuts and no tax hikes?

Then the Dems can still own it if they refuse to pass it in the Senate or if Obama vetoes it, and we don’t give him any more freaking power than he already has taken for himself.

This play is ballsy and it is clever, but it is dangerous and I don’t know that I like it.

Caiwyn on July 12, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Or why not pass several bills in the House… one debt limit increase of $600 billion, and several different “cutting” bills. Then let the Dems own it. If they only pass the debt limit (as expected), they’ll have to crawl back for another one. The Repubs should point out that the increase could last through election year if they pass several of the cuts. When they refuse, point out the irresponsibility of the Dems… they just proved the Repubs correct, and that new leadership is needed. The commercials just write themselves…

dominigan on July 12, 2011 at 7:23 PM

…Hume just stated on the Fox Panel that Republicans should pass it through the House with large spending cuts attached to it and a balanced budget amendment.

Baxter Greene on July 12, 2011 at 6:54 PM

The annoying thing with the GOP is that the rank and file appear to be way smarter than the so-called “leaders”. The reverse is true for the Dems.

The GOP House should have passed legislation by now increasing the debt limit but offsetting the increase with a larger spending cut and possibly the defunding/repeal of several high-spending initiatives from Obama’s first two years.

How will Obama defend Obamacare when we need the money to pay grandma – as he puts it? How will he defend the money going to all the corrupt Dem organizations like ACORN? How will he defend continued wasteful spending when his Treasury Secretary is telling us that the sky is falling?

The inability of the GOP to seize the initiative and force the Dems on the defence demonstrates their ineptness, especially of the RINO leaders, and explains why we should never ever let them anywhere near leadership.

Heck, even Ron Johnson, a neophyte, can make better arguments to the GOP’s advantage than the so-called “political veterans”.

TheRightMan on July 12, 2011 at 7:24 PM

McConnell doesn’t want the problem to return in a month and have to capitulate again.

He wants this problem to go away for good.

Spathi on July 12, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Hunffingtonpost front page headline…headline in all caps not me doing it.

SENATE GOP LEADER PUNTS ON DEBT CEILING

Spathi on July 12, 2011 at 7:34 PM

McConnell your a damned FOOL!
I just watched wher he said to pass legislation to give obama the authorty to raise the debt. Youre damn job is to control him! not to give into him!
I will work as hard as I can to help bitch mcconnell out of office . cause thats all he is OBAMAS BITCH!

ColdWarrior57 on July 12, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 6:49 PM

I am humbled.

OK, parents have a 10 year old son. The kid acts defiantly. Steals money out of their dresser. Refuses to obey the house rules. Steals their credit cards, their car and heads to the mall. And when confronted by mom and dad the kid demands even more and more. So what do smart parents do?

Oh, I know! Why, of course, smart parents will teach little Joey a real lesson by giving him even more control and more money! In fact, give him all of your credit cards, the cash in your wallet and everything in your checking account and when the sky eventually caves in and you lose your home, your credit rating, your car is repossessed and the IRS comes knocking, they won’t blame you, heck no… cause you gave it all over to little Joey cause you’re smart parents! Way to go mom and dad!

JellyToast on July 12, 2011 at 7:36 PM

The inability of the GOP to seize the initiative and force the Dems on the defence demonstrates their ineptness, especially of the RINO leaders, and explains why we should never ever let them anywhere near leadership.

TheRightMan on July 12, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Exactly.

The democrats have never looked at any of this in any other way than through a political prism.They could care less about producing actual sound policies…they only care about “winning the argument”.

The Republicans have to combine sound policy with sharp politics.

The democrats have nothing but a dismal record of failure….why would anybody want to continue this:


An Unemployment Report That Screams Spectacular Failur
e
Jul. 11 201
By CHARLES KADLEC

http://blogs.forbes.com/charleskadlec/2011/07/11/an-unemployment-report-that-screams-spectacular-failure/

Spectacular failure. These words came to mind as the dismal employment data for June were released last Friday. After the biggest spending binge in peacetime American history, the unemployment rate is stuck above 9%, while in May fewer than 20,000 jobs were created in what was once a vibrant U.S. economy. Adding in discouraged workers drives the combined rate to 16.2%. Wage rates fell, as did the average workweek.

It may get worse. In a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey of small businesses released Monday, 64% of the executives surveyed reported no plans to add workers, while 12% had plans to cut jobs. Only 19% said they planned to add employees.

This is the result of failed liberal policies pushed by democrats.
Hammer them with their own failures and pass the policies in the House that the people are yelling for:
Cuts in spending combined with a balanced budget amendment.

Move this right into the President and his party’s lap so that they will have to get off the sidelines and actually produce solutions.

The GOP should be reminding the public everyday that they are in line with the Presidents own commission that he set up last year….Obama has provided no solutions and has rejected his own commission.

The GOP has more than enough reasons to stand strong against this failed administration.

Baxter Greene on July 12, 2011 at 7:39 PM

okay, there’s some here who think this is a bad deal for Rs. Fox’s panel had two leftist, Mara and a reporter from NYT. Guess what. The left is worried. mara said that she thought it was too clever by half…and the NYT guy said he hopes that the wise heads in the business community would sit down with the Rs.

Huffpo says Rs punted.

Wait, why aren’t they celebrating? They are the one’s that would have loved a clean bill at the beginning. That’s what O wanted. So you guys got what you wanted.

daily kos has it right..it is a capitulation that puts the blame (unfairly) on obama. sound like they are a little bitter about it. the evil ones created the problem in the first place and are now trying to shift blame.

Anytime the left is nervous, i am happy

r keller on July 12, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Do not cede one more iota of power to this President nor to any President: stand for the republic and the separation of powers and their checks and balances.

If you can’t do your damned job, Sen. McConnell, then resign. It isn’t about placing blame and politics, it is about sticking to what the Framers created and you swore to uphold. Or is your word worthless?

ajacksonian on July 12, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Hunffingtonpost front page headline…headline in all caps not me doing it.

SENATE GOP LEADER PUNTS ON DEBT CEILING

Spathi on July 12, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Good…
That will only strengthen the resolve of the Republican’s in the House to dismiss McConnell’s idea.

The last thing we need is for liberals to embrace this and give it any credibility.

The more it looks like Republican capitulation….the better the chances are that it will not happen.

Baxter Greene on July 12, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Now I know why Obama raises his head to the sky with the confidence of a lion; he has known he has the GOP leadership in the bag all along. He has the media in the bag, he has Hollywood in the bag, he has the music industry in the bag.. Any wonder why he’s so darn cocky? If it weren’t for the Tea Party, this thing would be done and he’d be our king for however long he wanted.

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 7:44 PM

The inability of the GOP to seize the initiative and force the Dems on the defence demonstrates their ineptness, especially of the RINO leaders, and explains why we should never ever let them anywhere near leadership.

You seem to have all the answers. What office are you running for in 2011? How are you seizing the initiative in your town, your district, your state? How specifically are you putting the Dems on the defense?

There are lots of people willing to flap their yap about leadership, but I know you are not one of those. So, when you talk about who we should let anywhere near to leadership, let us know how you’ve changed your town, your district, and your state. That’s okay, you can feel free to brag on yourself. Tell us so we know who is advising us on leadership.

rlyle on July 12, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Anytime the left is nervous, i am happy

r keller on July 12, 2011 at 7:43 PM

…okay..what about this.

If this is viewed as “Republicans punting” this problem to the President…does he not come out looking like the “adult in the room” by saying…”Okay..I will do the work Republicans did not want to do.”

It seems to me that Hume’s idea on that same panel gives the Republicans the clout of producing on the debt ceiling and passing it on to the democrats who will have to actually come up with solutions instead of finger pointing.

Republicans will have actually produced on two fronts that Americans are in favor of….cutting spending and pushing for a balanced budget amendment.
This without ceding power and political points to Obama.

Baxter Greene on July 12, 2011 at 7:51 PM

rlyle on July 12, 2011 at 7:46 PM

hotair.com is a place to exchange ideas and or just plain vent. If you want to let us all know the great things you have accomplished in your town, state, country, then please do so. For me, I’m just a lowly Tea Party guy trying to do what I can while making the best attempt possible to feed my family. If your criteria to vent some hot air here is what you have demanded of that person, then your in lala land pal.

Keemo on July 12, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Anytime the left is nervous, i am happy

r keller on July 12, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Well I hope I am wrong. But anytime the Republicans want to give more power to a Democrat, especially if the Democrat is Obama, I get nervous.

JellyToast on July 12, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Anytime the left is nervous, i am happy

r keller on July 12, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Nervous about what? The power to increase the debt limit and propose heavy cuts to conservative priorities while maintaining wasteful liberal initiatives?

You have been suckered and what you hear is not nervousness from the left – it is the left laughing at the GOP’s ineptness and naivety!

TheRightMan on July 12, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Now THIS is the Republican party that we all know and love. Defeat: Jaws: Victory

Mojave Mark on July 12, 2011 at 5:16 PM

THIS

cmsinaz on July 12, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Anytime the left is nervous, i am happy

r keller on July 12, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Could give two shirts for the left – I’m not in this to “beat” the left.

I’m in this to save this nation for my grandkids.

McConnell is a traitor.

HondaV65 on July 12, 2011 at 8:09 PM

i know there’s a lot of angst…but i laughed and laughed when i read the nro piece. they are calling barry’s bluff. the Rs can no longer be blamed..it is all up to barry.

r keller on July 12, 2011 at 5:54 PM

The Republicans can no longer be blamed? We’re talking the MSM that refused to cover ClimateGate and is now refusing to cover Fast and Furious? The MSM that refused to investigate Barack Obama? The same MSM that convinced many Americans that they would be racist if they didn’t vote for Obama, that Obama is a centrist and Joe Biden is a genius? That MSM?

Yeah, sure sounds like a plan … not.

bw222 on July 12, 2011 at 8:12 PM

the WSJ has an editorial tomorrow on this. i think barry is failing…and the old expression in the stock market is don’t try to catch a falling knife…I honestly thing the left/Obama/media have no clue. I think they are innumerate. They think they can play silly chicken games, that barry can do an elaborate extortion while holding the US hostage. This is a man that bragged that he would not sign a 30, 60 or 90 day extension. He is basically saying “make my day”. Sorry, you can’t negotiate with that type of person….walk away, don’t get sucked into his game.

The entitlement state can’t be reformed by one house of Congress in one year against a determined President and Senate held by the other party. It requires more than one election. The Obama Democrats have staged a spending blowout to 24% of GDP and rising, and now they want to find a way to finance it to make it permanent. Those are the real stakes of 2012.

The tea party/talk-radio expectations for what Republicans can accomplish over the debt-limit showdown have always been unrealistic. As former Senator Phil Gramm once told us, never take a hostage you’re not prepared to shoot. Republicans aren’t prepared to stop a debt-limit increase because the political costs are unbearable. Republicans might have played this game better, but the truth is that Mr. Obama has more cards to play.

The hotter precincts of the blogosphere were calling this a sellout yesterday, though they might want to think before they shout. The debt ceiling is going to be increased one way or another, and the only question has been what if anything Republicans could get in return. If Mr. Obama insists on a tax increase, and Republicans won’t vote for one, then what’s the alternative to Mr. McConnell’s maneuver?

Even if Mr. Obama gets his debt-limit increase without any spending cuts, he will pay a price for the privilege. He’ll have reinforced his well-earned reputation as a spender with no modern peer. He’ll own the record deficits and fast-rising debt. And he’ll own the U.S. credit-rating downgrade to AA if Standard & Poor’s so decides.

We’d far prefer a bipartisan deal to cut spending and reform entitlements without a tax increase. But if Mr. Obama won’t go along, there’s no reason Republicans should help him dodge the political consequences by committing debt-limit harakiri.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303678704576442231815463502.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

r keller on July 12, 2011 at 8:15 PM

The logic behind McConnell’s proposal reminds me of the thinking behind “Fast and Furious. “It’s a clever plan … what could possibly go wrong?”

bw222 on July 12, 2011 at 8:24 PM

rlyle on July 12, 2011 at 7:46 PM wrote:

You seem to have all the answers. What office are you running for in 2011? How are you seizing the initiative in your town, your district, your state? How specifically are you putting the Dems on the defense?

Wow! I must have touched a nerve…LOL.

I’m working hard all right as a Tea Partier but my focus is not only Dems… but squishy RINOs like your beloved Boehner and McConnell! They are a major part of the problem and never part of the solution. And don’t make me laugh about putting Dems on the defense? You think THEY are putting Obama and his band of radical Dems on the defense? They take butter knives to a gun fight and want us to applaud them?

So, when you talk about who we should let anywhere near to leadership, let us know how you’ve changed your town, your district, and your state.

rlyle on July 12, 2011 at 7:46 PM

I know about a couple “rubes” (does Palin ring a bell?) who did a great job changing their town, district, and state. But our “overlords”, who you are shilling for, say I better not support her in case she runs for the Presidency. If Boehner and the other dinosaurs are NOT prepared to lead (I know, it must be so hard… /sarc), they should step aside and give us rubes the chance instead of fighting to hold on to their positions as if their lives depended on it.

Because day by day, it is becoming more evident that the “rubes” are way smarter than the “elites”.

TheRightMan on July 12, 2011 at 8:25 PM

r keller on July 12, 2011 at 8:15 PM

rkeller, the more you post on this subject and the more links you produce from the GOP’s corporate lobbyists, the more you convince me that the McConnell proposal is a sellout! Let’s go through some facts:

1. Wall Street, mostly Obama’s backers, want the debt limit increase. The same guys that brought us TARP (remember the same “the sky is falling” mantra?) are behind this push to have the limit increased.

2. McConnell could care less about government expansion – hello! He is the chief of the BIG GOVT. RINOs. Remember how he fought against the ban on earmarks?

3. McConnell’s proposal will remove any last leverage the GOP House majority possesses – and ALL for what? Some pipedream that Obama will be blamed for any subsequent debt limit increase and therefore lose election?

Give me a break! The same media that hounded GW Bush on the Iraq war posting a daily counter on military deaths, which mysteriously vanished when Obama came to power? The same media that accused Bush of a bad economy when unemployment was less than 5% (oh the good old days…) while talking of “unexpected” outcomes in the Obama era?

You are politically naive if you think this will work.

TheRightMan on July 12, 2011 at 8:41 PM

rlyle on July 12, 2011 at 7:46 PM

You’re a joke, dude.

Bugler on July 12, 2011 at 8:50 PM

The Pappy Plan!

1. Seal the border.

2. 10% across the board Federal Spending cuts.

When McConnell gets back from the White House Worship of the DOTUS can someone pass this along?

And as for Boehner and McConnell WHAT HAVE either of them accomplished since January besides shutting down the Conservatives?

Profane terms fill my mind to describe the GOP.

PappyD61 on July 12, 2011 at 9:05 PM

This McConnell plan is fine. It is for the long term benefit of the GOP and the nation.

They are forcing The One to be an adult instead of just acting like one.

Socialism never works.

But they need scapegoats and fresh ones all the time. (Mixing metaphors) Now they will have more rope.

IlikedAUH2O on July 12, 2011 at 9:29 PM

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