Will the GOP force normal order on budgets to resolve debt limit?

posted at 10:41 am on January 8, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

That’s certainly the plan, writes Byron York.  Debt limits usually get set as part of normal budgeting, allowing for some flexibility in case of emergency but designed to cover the the planned deficit spending authorized specifically by Congress in a complete federal budget.  That process had gotten derailed by Senate Democrats and their refusal to produce budgets — motivated by Harry Reid’s desire to keep FY2010 spending as the baseline, and also to protect Democrats from accountability:

Tuesday marks the 1,350th day since the Senate passed a budget. The law requires Congress to pass a budget every year, on the grounds that Americans deserve to know how the government plans to spend the trillions of taxpayer dollars it collects, along with dollars it borrows at the taxpayers’ expense. But Majority Leader Harry Reid, who last allowed a budget through the Senate in April 2009, has ignored the law since then.

There’s no mystery why. The budget passed by large Democratic majorities in the first months of the Obama administration had hugely elevated levels of spending in it. By not passing a new spending plan since, Reid has in effect made those levels the new budgetary baseline. Congress has kept the government going with continuing resolutions based on the last budget signed into law.

While Reid has forbidden action, the House has passed budgets as required. Senate Democrats have been highly critical of those budgets, designed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. But under Reid’s leadership, Democrats have steadfastly refused to come up with a plan of their own.

The situation is deeply frustrating for many Republicans. Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, has conducted a virtual crusade on the issue, loudly and consistently and unsuccessfully demanding that Reid obey the law and pass a budget. Now, with a fight over the debt ceiling approaching, Sessions wants to try something new.

“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 told me Monday in a phone conversation from his home in Alabama. “If the government wants to borrow money so it can spend more, then the government ought to tell the Congress and the American people how they will spend it.”

It’s not just the debt limit, and it’s not just to keep baseline spending artificially high, either.  Ever since it became clear that Republicans would likely win the lower chamber thanks to Democratic overreach, Harry Reid has shut down the budget process in order to create all sorts of false budgetary crises.  Issues like tax policy and debt limits would normally be resolved in conference committee, with perhaps a short-time continuing resolution to extend the previous budget authorizations a few days to conclude negotiations at the beginning of a budget cycle.

Instead, we have run the government for 1350 days by continuing resolutions and omnibus catch-alls, perhaps the least efficient ways of legislating and of working out compromises.  Why? Reid doesn’t want conference committees and compromises — he wants capitulations.  That’s why we keep careening from crisis to crisis, from cliff to cliff.

How serious are Republicans at pressing this strategy?  So far this morning, I’ve already received two e-mails from sources on Capitol Hill promoting Byron’s piece.  It’s the rare political strategy that not only benefits a party but is also objectively the right thing to do.  We need to stop disconnecting debt ceilings from the normal budget process, but that can only happen when Congress has a normal budget process in place.  We haven’t seen a normal budget process in more than three years, and the debt ceiling may be the only way to force Reid to abide by the law and get back to work.

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Expecting Democrats to obey the law, how quaint!

Archivarix on January 8, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Shut down the government until the senate passes a budget. Just walk away from the House and refuse to do anything, and every time a reporter starts asking why, mention that the Cadaver Reid hasn’t obeyed the law in 3 years.

Bishop on January 8, 2013 at 10:49 AM

If the Republicans stick to this, it’ll be a Good Thing. Especially if they present a unified front on it. Just hammer these points home, and stick to these talking points:

1) A budget is required by the constitution
2) Harry Reid has prevented any budget from passing for almost four years
3) If we follow the regular budget process, we won’t have these continual crises

One actual short-term government shutdown is worth it to prevent the continual series of manufactured crises that the Democrats want.

Mohonri on January 8, 2013 at 10:50 AM

make and vote on a damn budget. its ridiculous. is that too much to ask?

tom daschle concerned on January 8, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Please explain to me why conservatives have to concede anything in order to get the liberals to obey the law.

Any politician who can be shown to be working in stopping a budget from being passed (which, at this point, is almost certainly Senators, as the numerous budgets passed by the House are prima facie evidence that they are attempting to follow the law) should be arrested and stand trial for breaking the law.

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

A budget, or no raise in the debt ceiling. It may hurt the Dem’s more than the $1 for $1 cuts, because they will have to explain where the money goes.

Tater Salad on January 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Republicans will fold, guaranteed. Just watch.

BJ* on January 8, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Tater: No. A budget and no raise in the debt ceiling.

Seriously, the GOP should simply pass the budget they want, and then wait until the Senate passes it, and not budge until they do.

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I just returned from meeting Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who was opening a new office in our town. I talked with him for a bit about spending and about returning the bill-signing process to House-Senate-Committee-Senate-President, and about how Harry Reid and the Dems have broken the law by refusing to pass a budget. I mentioned that the Soviets tried 5-year-plans and it didn’t work too well.

He said that he will be standing firm that the debt ceiling will not be increased unless tied to spending cuts over and above the increase, and unless Harry “Idiot” Reid produces a budget.

I told him to go get it.. and handed him this:

AMERICA’S DRUNKEN CREDIT-CARD SPREE

* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $385.00

I was the second person who handed him the same thing this morning.

It felt good to talk with the senator in person and to tell him that a lot of people are behind him!

cane_loader on January 8, 2013 at 10:56 AM

This explains why the dems want cover from the courts.

docflash on January 8, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Please explain to me why conservatives have to concede anything in order to get the liberals to obey the law.

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

That’s the consequences of conceding the media to liberals. Unless and until conservative money floods the MSM in order to aggressively push dirty-handed editors, reporters, and talking heads out, the GOP will continue to be held responsible by the public for every act of rape that Democrats subject the country to.

Archivarix on January 8, 2013 at 10:57 AM

No way in hell will Bonehead or McConnell have the testicular fortitude to do this, McConnell will craft another grand bargain that gives Obama $100.00 dollar of tax increases for every -$10.00 of spending cuts and Bonehead will cry like a little girl on nthe House floor again.

SWalker on January 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Why is the GOP even tying these two together? Refuse to do anything until the Senate passes a budget.

The GOP is negotiating to gain something we should already have, by law, and giving up something that violates their principles (an increase in the debt limit).

And people think that this is a good thing?!?

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Will the GOP..

Lets just stop the question there. We know the answer.

nobar on January 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Archivarix: And the alternative is that the GOP is held accountable. Either way, the GOP loses, so why are they choosing to lose in a way that compromises their own principles?

If the GOP is going to get blamed no matter what they do, they may as well be blamed for doing good than doing evil.

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 11:01 AM

The way I understand it, the debt ceiling will need to be raised, because the money is already spent. But then a budget has to be produced so that it doesnt happen again.

So I’m not unhappy that Sen. Vitter is willing to consider raising it, if it’s tied to finally forcing Reid and 0bama to budget.

And that’s what Sen. Vitter just told me he’s going to do.

You would not believe the backlash against Harry Reid down here, after minimizing Katrina. It’s on the front page of local papers, and even the low-information voters are offended.

cane_loader on January 8, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Meanwhile, back at CNN…

“How will we spin this?”
“As more ‘party of No’ from the Republicans.”
“Perfect.”

You know, until conservatives actively seek and push for a true alternative to the main stream media (FoxNews is not it), every good thing that the Republicans try to do is rendered moot by a leftist media.

beatcanvas on January 8, 2013 at 11:07 AM

cane_loader: Debt incurred beyond the debt limit is not guaranteed under the 14th Amendment.

Too bad, so sad for the people who bought that debt, but that’s not Congress’s problem.

Further, if we’ve already exceeded the debt limit, why should we raise it? They’ve already proved that no one will do anything about it.

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Harry Reid’s desire to keep FY2010 spending as the baseline

Ed,
That should read “FY2009″, not “FY2010″.
The last budget (passed in April 2009) was for FY 2009, not FY 2010.

———————————

It appears to me that the Democrats’ game plan was to:

1) Block George W. Bush’s budget proposed in 2008 for FY 2009

2) Jack up FY 2009 spending as high as possible with TARP, “Stimulus”, “Cash for Clunkers”, etc.

3) Pass a FY 2009 budget in the Nancy Pelosi House, Harry Reid Senate, and signed by pResident Barack Obama.

4) BLAME BUSH for FY 2009 spending levels!

5) Not pass another budget under Obama

6) While blaming bush for FY 2009, and keeping spending near those ungodly high FY 2009 levels, make the multi-Pinocchios claim that “Obama has had the lowest rate of increase in spending since World War II”!

By not passing budgets for FY 2010, 2011, 2012, or 2013, and keeping spending near FY 2009 levels, we have essentially been paying for a new TARP and a new “Stimulus” each and every year for the last 5 (yes, five) Fiscal Years (FY 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013).

ITguy on January 8, 2013 at 11:08 AM

beatcanvas: One, you can blame the media all you like, but they’re not the root issue. Also, I have seen nothing good that the GOP has even tried to do since November 2010.

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Interesting photo.

I didn’t know Mr. Hand / the dude from My Favorite Martian was a US Senator.

UltimateBob on January 8, 2013 at 11:09 AM

cane_loader: Debt incurred beyond the debt limit is not guaranteed under the 14th Amendment.

Too bad, so sad for the people who bought that debt, but that’s not Congress’s problem.

Further, if we’ve already exceeded the debt limit, why should we raise it? They’ve already proved that no one will do anything about it.

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 11:07 AM

The government can’t default on it – that creates all kind of bad financial karma. It must be paid. Now is the time to finally get ahold of the problem and create a budget.

99.9% of the nation doesn’t understand that the ballyhooed 0bama stimulus was rolled over, year after year, with the complicity of Harry Reid.

That’s that glaring financial scandal.

I told Sen. Vitter that I considered it financial treason by Harry Reid.

cane_loader on January 8, 2013 at 11:09 AM

“normal order” … you have got to be kidding! Democrats are running communists for offices, and Republicans are running McCains and former Massachusetts governors. Without total war on America’s own soil and/or total economic collapse, then we stay stuck in the only “normal order” we know.

Karmi on January 8, 2013 at 11:09 AM

pfft… great trade.

equanimous on January 8, 2013 at 11:10 AM

I know no one is in favor of the sequester, but Obama/Biden and Reid suspended it in the fiscal cliff negotiations. The sequester was the CUTS to offset the last raising of the debt ceiling and it has yet to be collected.

I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today.

The budget cuts never come…they agree to them, but they put them off, and put them off…has this postponement been scored by the CBO to see how much two months of not cutting affect This Year alone?

Demand a budget, it is required by law.

Obama passed his deadline to say how the sequester cuts were going to be implemented, HE CHOSE arbitrary and capricious cuts.

July 26 2012…By unanimous consent, the Senate agreed to a bill that would require the White House to outline what budget items would be cut under the sequester within 30 days of the law’s enactment. That bill, previously passed in the House 414-2, was signed into law

AND SINCE THEN THERE HAS BEEN NO CONTROLLING LEGAL AUTHORITY?

Demand THOUGHTFUL itemized cuts, be ready to go into effect NOW. It is not a bargaining chip. These are not new cuts, they were to “pay for” last years debt ceiling raise, and can’t count for this one too.

Fleuries on January 8, 2013 at 11:10 AM

How serious are Republicans at pressing this strategy? So far this morning, I’ve already received two e-mails from sources on Capitol Hill promoting Byron’s piece. It’s the rare political strategy that not only benefits a party but is also objectively the right thing to do.

This explains so very much.

Who’s working your puppet strings Ed? Did Little Johnny Boner tell you he reeeealy means it this time?

Wish you’d man up again…your establishment rhetoric is really starting to chaffe.

Tim_CA on January 8, 2013 at 11:11 AM

I like the Sessions plan as a starting point, because even low information voters can understand that everyone, and every family, needs a budget.

But the GOP must shout this from the rooftops well in advance, because we’ll only otherwise have a last-minute pseudo-crisis conjured up by the Dems and their MSM handmaidens.

matthew8787 on January 8, 2013 at 11:11 AM

What?

“Talk Tough” coming from the GOP?

We haven’t had a budget in four years … so answer this question …

The GOP WON the house in 2010 and gained back their filibuster power in the Senate – with these wins, they could have STOPPED ALL CONGRESSIONAL ACTIVITY UNTIL A BUDGET WAS PASSED.

Why didn’t they do it?

Why did the GOP work with Dimmocrits on “internet security bills” and other such nonsense that this nation doesn’t need – BUT NEVER USED THEIR POWER TO HAULT BUSINESS UNTIL A BUDGET WAS PASSED.

Why is the Congress still operating when it’s negligent (to the tune of four years) on one of it’s primary jobs – PASSING A BUDGET!

You cannot say the GOP hasn’t had the power to correct this – THEY DID!

They simply did not have the balls and they don’t have them now either.

HondaV65 on January 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM

We haven’t seen a normal budget process in more than three years, and the debt ceiling may be the only way to force Reid to abide by the law and get back to work.

I’ll wait to see a unicorn.

Odd’s are that will happen first.

Tim_CA on January 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM

HondaV65 on January 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM

I friggin’ HATE it when the d-bags make sense.

Tim_CA on January 8, 2013 at 11:14 AM

theater…

equanimous on January 8, 2013 at 11:15 AM

One, you can blame the media all you like, but they’re not the root issue.

You’re right – the uninformed voter is. That is, after all, how we got government we’re currently enjoying. But creating a mainstream form of media that is attractive and informs… that might help.

Case in point:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/us/gop-bill-would-block-food-stamps-and-jobless-pay-for-millionaires.html?_r=0

I ask you: what media mechanism did the GOP or anyone employ to counter that?

Also, I have seen nothing good that the GOP has even tried to do since November 2010.

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 11:09 AM

You exaggerate for effect, yes?

I’m no fan of the GOP, but there have been several initiatives worth your while and support:

http://www.gop.gov/indepth/jobs/tracker

beatcanvas on January 8, 2013 at 11:18 AM

I have two questions.

1. Do Obama, Reid and Pelosi truly believe that we can continue to spend unabated at this rate forever with no consequence or collapse? Is there no day of reckoning?

2. Why does the MSM peddle the Obama crap, when most of their industries — especially newspapers, magazines, and radio — are collapsing and their friends/family are losing their jobs?

matthew8787 on January 8, 2013 at 11:20 AM

cane: If Congress did not authorize a raising of the debt limit, that debt is ipso facto not US public debt, and we have no obligation, financial or otherwise, to pay for it.

I couldn’t care less about the financial ‘bad karma’ involved in the decision.

There’s also the point that the federal government takes in 5x the amount of money to pay the current US public debt. I have a hard time believing that this ‘extra’ money is somehow not payable out of our current resources even if we don’t raise the debt ceiling.

Don’t trade the present for the future, because that’s exactly the Democrat fiscal plan.

The debt ceiling must be raised NOW (according to liberals). The budget (at least for FY2014) does not have to be passed until the end of FY2013, which is September 30th, last I checked.

How much are you willing to bet that the liberals will agree to pass a budget in FY2013 for FY2014 in exchange for an increase in the debt ceiling? And how much are you willing to bet that the GOP will not accept such an offer?

Based on historical evidence, the first is a sure bet. The second is a sucker’s bet.

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 11:22 AM

You cannot say the GOP hasn’t had the power to correct this – THEY DID!

They simply did not have the balls and they don’t have them now either.

HondaV65 on January 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM

The GOP believed, with some justification, that not provoking huge fights — including a shutdown – would help the ultimate GOP presidential nominee.

It didn’t work out that way, but it was probably the correct bet.

Clinton’s re-election was secured when Bob Dole threw in the towel in 1995 during the govt shutdown.

matthew8787 on January 8, 2013 at 11:23 AM

They simply did not have the balls and they don’t have them now either.

HondaV65 on January 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM

it takes more balls to do nothing…

equanimous on January 8, 2013 at 11:25 AM

beat: If the problem is an uninformed voter, then I fail to see how creating outlets to inform them will help.

If voters are uninformed, it is because they choose to be. As such, no attempt to inform them will remedy matters.

As for the more likely scenario of misinformed voters, conservatives have been fighting that battle for… what, 50 years or more? Don’t seem to be winning, do they?

And no, I do not exaggerate in the least. Since the midterm elections in 2010, the GOP has steadfastly broken every promise they made to the US voter.

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Hmmm. The Gelded Old Party will kick and scream. The Dems will lie and obfuscate. The Media, no matter how much ‘messaging’ the Repubs try, will spin the party of no, the uncaring Republicans, you won’t get your Govt. Cheese because the evil Republicans want to shut down Dear Leader’s Magnificent Government From Whom All Blessings Flow. The Repubs will cave for fear of not being re-elected. The mold is set. We are through the looking glass, up is down and black is white. Oh, and for the record, Obama doesn’t care if the unbridled spending spree crashes the economy – that’s the plan. I’m sure there will still be enough Wagyu beef stashed for him and Michelle.

ghostwalker1 on January 8, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Republicans will fold, guaranteed. Just watch.

BJ* on January 8, 2013 at 10:56 AM

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind.

Mr. Arrogant on January 8, 2013 at 11:34 AM

The GOP is now the party of higher taxes, that is a fact. This is simply trying to put stained glass on the republican house of ill repute. You’re going to fight for a written budget when the dems are ignoring the US Constitution on a daily basis? Swept into power from the 2010 Tea Party wave and squandered all your creds by doing nothing to get our fiscal house in order. Couldn’t even defund NPR…ugh.

Panther on January 8, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Do your job!

cmsinaz on January 8, 2013 at 11:48 AM

2. Why does the MSM peddle the Obama crap, when most of their industries — especially newspapers, magazines, and radio — are collapsing and their friends/family are losing their jobs?

matthew8787 on January 8, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Call me crazy, but I’m starting to see some cracks forming in the MSM spending issue. Over the weekend Erskine Bowles (Democrat) was on the Sunday morning shows talking about spending, with no mention of additional revenue, and this morning Jim Cramer, of CNBC and a Obama supporter, also said it is now “all about the spending”.

I think there are a growing number of pragmatic Dem’s who don’t feel comfortable ignoring the spending.

Tater Salad on January 8, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Please explain to me why conservatives have to concede anything in order to get the liberals to obey the law.

Any politician who can be shown to be working in stopping a budget from being passed (which, at this point, is almost certainly Senators, as the numerous budgets passed by the House are prima facie evidence that they are attempting to follow the law) should be arrested and stand trial for breaking the law.

Scott H on January 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Except for two things. First, members of Congress cannot be personally prosecuted for anything relating to their legislative activities. If they could, you could have the Justice Department of a Democrat, for example, choosing to prosecute a Republican Senator for the votes they cast.

Second, no Congress can bind a future Congress. It doesn’t matter how many laws you pass saying “the Congress must do this,” future Congresses have equal authority and can always make changes. Even if something is specifically spelled out in the Constitution, the only enforcement mechanism available would be the courts, and even our current activist courts are loathe to get involved in the internal legislative struggles of a Congress. The House of Representatives going to court to try and force the Senate to pass a budget would almost certainly be a can of worms that even the Supreme Court would decline to open.

Shump on January 8, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Force regular order for budgets as the price for raising the debt ceiling? Great idea!

It was also a great idea the last two-three times it came up during the Obama Administration, when the same conditions prevailed (i.e., no Senate budget, grotesquely elevated baseline). Why would anyone expect the Republicans to be able to make it work this time, when it failed repeatedly in the past?

Given the conventional arch definition of insanity, I would say the grotesquely overspending, budgetless Democrats are the sane ones in this farragio.

Zumkopf on January 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Will the GOP force normal order on budgets to resolve debt limit?

Short answer, NO.
Longer answer, NOOOO.
Final answer, the GOP in general has become the party of a penny less sized government than the Democrats demand as well as the party of enabling the progressive shift of power.

astonerii on January 8, 2013 at 12:36 PM

It’s the rare political strategy that not only benefits a party but is also objectively the right thing to do.

It’s not that rare. Anytime one political party tries to subvert government to their own advantage, the other one is supposed to call them on it.

Now, if your point is that neither party are angels, that’s true. But it’s also a given.

It’s just like the rest of our government: one party is supposed to keep the other honest, if imperfectly, by challenging them when they do something sleazy or self-serving. That doesn’t require believing either party is without blame, just accepting that a whole political party can be right on one issue even while being bottomfeeding scum on another one. The political parties are at their most useful when they’re giving each other colonoscopies.

tom on January 8, 2013 at 12:43 PM

GOP? Force?

PersonFromPorlock on January 8, 2013 at 12:47 PM

I’ve been saying this for 2 years. The Republicans need to pass a budget (they actually do that part), and then every tv appearance, interview, whatever, they need to reiterate that the Senate Democrats and Obama want to shut down the government. Not last minute, ALL THE TIME. Over and over, the Senate Democrats and Obama want to shut down the government.

Repetition. It works.

Instead, they’ll wait till last minute and negotiate in secret.

The Senate Democrats and Obama want to shut down the government.

Fenris on January 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

…Why would anyone expect the Republicans to be able to make it work this time, when it failed repeatedly in the past? …
Zumkopf on January 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM

You know how to negotiate, e.g. with a car dealer? Walk out. Just walk out. If there’s a deal to be had, the salesman will come get you.

The Lefties really really really do not want the government to shut down. It would prove that 90% of what the government does is completely useless and nobody would notice.

Fenris on January 8, 2013 at 12:53 PM

GOP caucus threatens to hold breath until spending are offered.

BobMbx on January 8, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Cool, forcing budgets is a big thing, but not the only thing.

Speakup on January 8, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Chasing the Senate to get a budget is a waste of time.

What the GOP needs to do is to END baseline budgeting. This one act will force every program to be constantly re-evaluated for quality and need.

Since the msm and the vast majority of the public do not understand what baseline budgeting is, they will be hard pressed to pretend it is critical. Which will make demonizing anyone for demanding such a change an impossible task.

Freddy on January 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

No, because only eunuchs are in DC, from Obama on down.

Schadenfreude on January 8, 2013 at 1:56 PM

This will only work if the RNC/NRSC commit to spending some big dollars on some ads in the states of all those red-state Democrats who are up for reelection in 2014. Make them FORCE Harry Reid to put a budget resolution on the floor, or make them BLEED back home. Whose side are they on, Harry’s or their state’s?

rockmom on January 8, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Any chance Reid could be arrested? This IS illegal.

TheHitman on January 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Short answer, NO.
Longer answer, NOOOO.

astonerii on January 8, 2013 at 12:36 PM

LOL.

Tim_CA on January 8, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Shut down the government until the senate passes a budget. Just walk away from the House and refuse to do anything, and every time a reporter starts asking why, mention that the Cadaver Reid hasn’t obeyed the law in 3 years.

Bishop on January 8, 2013 at 10:49 AM

…shouldn’t the press have been asking every year? 365 days each year?
?

KOOLAID2 on January 8, 2013 at 9:20 PM

So the Senate is in direct violation of the Constitution. What recourse do we have? Can the House haul them into the Supreme Court? If all we have is the ballot box, we really are screwed. A nation of men, not a nation of laws. O_O

TMOverbeck on January 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Force regular order for budgets as the price for raising the debt ceiling? Great idea!

It was also a great idea the last two-three times it came up during the Obama Administration, when the same conditions prevailed (i.e., no Senate budget, grotesquely elevated baseline). Why would anyone expect the Republicans to be able to make it work this time, when it failed repeatedly in the past?

Given the conventional arch definition of insanity, I would say the grotesquely overspending, budgetless Democrats are the sane ones in this farragio.

Zumkopf on January 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM

You know what else was a great idea? Having 20 House Republicans block re-election of Boehner on the first ballot!

The GOP is a joke at this point. I’ll believe any existence of GOP spine when I see it.

TMOverbeck on January 9, 2013 at 9:59 AM