House considering short-term debt-ceiling increase?

posted at 10:01 am on October 8, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

This story moves quickly, doesn’t it?  While the Senate prepares to vote on a big raise in the debt ceiling, with Harry Reid hoping to pressure Republicans to avoid a filibuster, John Boehner has a new card he’s pulling out of his sleeve, too:

With the government shutdown entering its second week and the Oct. 17 debt-limit deadline looming, House Republicans are poised to pursue a strategy that deals with each crisis separately, with an emphasis on agreeing to a short-term debt-ceiling deal as quickly as possible.

According to several high-ranking Republican aides, the House GOP leadership on Tuesday morning will inform lawmakers of its plan to continue passing individual funding bills to reopen specific areas of the federal government. On a separate track, the House majority will pursue a short-term extension of the debt limit in hopes of reaching an agreement with the Senate before next Thursday’s deadline.

The proposal being floated right now, according to aides, would extend the debt limit for roughly one month and include dollar-for-dollar spending cuts. To win over skeptical conservatives, the House proposal is also likely to include language that would instruct the Treasury Department to prioritize its payments in the event a debt-ceiling agreement is not reached.

The decision to work separately on resolving the government-funding and debt-ceiling fights will likely surprise Republican lawmakers, many of whom acknowledged last week that they seemed to be heading inexorably toward one big, comprehensive negotiation. But with so little time remaining before the Treasury Department’s Oct. 17 deadline, and the severe implications of a government default, the House leadership seems prepared to prioritize its crises.

This is actually quite a clever play — and one opened up by the White House, actually.  Yesterday’s suggestion that they would accept a short-term debt-ceiling increase undercut Reid and signaled to Boehner that the GOP could exploit a rift between the Senate and the White House.  Now Boehner can make the White House either bite the bullet and take a short-term deal, or reverse itself and shoulder more of the blame for the impasse.

That’s not the end of the benefit for Boehner, either.  Reid wanted to pose his debt-ceiling bill as the only solution on the table, forcing Senate Republicans to either vote for “default” or vote to raise the debt ceiling. If the House sends this bill to the Senate, it provides plenty of political cover for Republicans to filibuster Reid’s bill — and increases pressure on Reid to either bring the House bill to the floor.  As an alternative, Republicans could agree to allow the floor vote on Reid’s bill in exchange for a commitment to finally go to conference on the two companion bills to resolve the debt-ceiling standoff, at least.

We’ll see whether Reid has a play left himself.  We still have more than a week to go, but with Senate rules, the votes will have to come sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, why hasn’t the White House released the Kracken?

When President Barack Obama laid out his strategy for the current debt-limit fight in a private meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this past summer, Reid stipulated one condition: No Joe Biden.

And while Biden attended the White House dog-and-pony show meeting last week with congressional leaders, Reid has effectively barred him from the backrooms, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The vice president’s disappearance has grown ever more noticeable as the government shutdown enters its eighth day with no resolution in sight and a debt limit crisis looms. Biden was once Democrats’ deal-maker-in-chief, designing budget pacts with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the summer of 2011 and New Year’s Eve 2013.

But Biden’s deals rubbed Democrats raw. He gave up too much, they said.

And for that, they have frozen him out — at least for now.

If we see Biden suddenly reappear, we’ll know that Reid’s out of moves, and that the White House is out of patience.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Boehner and Cantor live now, offering a 1-year delay in the medical devices tax and noting Teh SCOAMT rejected even that.

Steve Eggleston on October 8, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Maybe Biden wasn’t frozen out, he might have just got lost in a broom closet.

Flange on October 8, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Shorter Boehner – Come together, right now, over me.

Predicted SCOAMT/Dingy response – Over your corpse or nothing.

Steve Eggleston on October 8, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Boehner and Cantor live now, offering a 1-year delay in the medical devices tax and noting Teh SCOAMT rejected even that.

Steve Eggleston on October 8, 2013 at 10:03 AM

I can’t understand why the GOP isn’t insisting on full repeal when it gets 70+ votes in the Senate.

I’d love to see them plant that on Obama’s desk and have Obama explain why he hate medical devices, being the man of science that he is, doncha know.

And if Obama were to cave, the GOP should run out and highlight that one of the taxes on which Obama based the economic argument for Obamacare has crumbled.

BuckeyeSam on October 8, 2013 at 10:10 AM

If we see Biden suddenly reappear, we’ll know that Reid’s out of moves, and that the White House is out of patience.

Wouldn’t that be negotiating? I thought the White House was adamant that the House GOP had to agree to increase the debt by a trillion dollars before the lazy stupid coward was willing to sit down and discuss anything.

Happy Nomad on October 8, 2013 at 10:20 AM

******************** D. O. A. **********************

US government funding debate 2013

House Speaker Boehner on new fiscal talks with President Obama: ‘There’s nothing on the table, there’s nothing off the table’ – @Reuters

6 mins ago by editor
========================

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 10:27 AM

US debt ceiling debate 2013

Report: Senate Democrats to unveil plan that will allow the government to borrow an additional $1 trillion – @AP

16 mins ago from bigstory.ap.org by editor
==============================================

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/senate-dems-try-passing-debt-ceiling-increase

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 10:28 AM

But with so little time remaining before the Treasury Department’s Oct. 17 deadline, and the severe implications of a government default, the House leadership seems prepared to prioritize its crises.

Default will not happen. The government is bringing in more than enough to cover both debt payments and entitlement payments.

I hear both, hourly, on the news, as fearmongering – we might not be able to pay debts, and old folks wont get their checks, omgz! – and both are bullshit.

I would suggest that if the President *decides* – and it, like the shutdown, would be on him – not to pay those things, we should all immediately amend our W4′s to stop paying taxes entirely.

And damn the media to hell for jumping on the bullshit fearmongering bandwagon and spouting this bullshit.

Midas on October 8, 2013 at 10:32 AM

In fact, maybe we should start letting them know that if they raise the debt limit, we’ll stop paying taxes. We’re going to have to do something to stop this madness, citizens.

Midas on October 8, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Who ever thought that Scranton Joe would be the Democrats best chance to end this?

Khun Joe on October 8, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Sequester will be catastrophic.
Shutdown will be catastrophic.
Debt Limit will be…

mjbrooks3 on October 8, 2013 at 10:35 AM

‘If my Republican friends believe that increasing our debt by almost $800 billion today and more than $3 trillion over the last five years is the right thing to do, they should be upfront about it. They should explain why they think more debt is good for the economy.

How can the Republican majority in this Congress explain to their constituents that trillions of dollars in new debt is good for our economy? How can they explain that they think it’s fair to force our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren to finance this debt through higher taxes. That’s what it will have to be. Why is it right to increase our nation’s dependence on foreign creditors?

They should explain this. Maybe they can convince the public they’re right. I doubt it. Because most Americans know that increasing debt is the last thing we should be doing. After all, I repeat, the Baby Boomers are about to retire. Under the circumstances, any credible economist would tell you we should be reducing debt, not increasing it. Democrats won’t be making arguments to support this legislation, which will weaken our country. Weaken our country.’

- Senator Harry Reid, 2006

Debt on 16 March 2006: $8,271,005,203,336.67

Debt today: $16,747,458,528,953.05 (Treasury) and an estimated $17.25 trillion (OMB).

After adding $8,476,453,325,616.38 to the national debt since that comment was made, what Harry Reid thinks the country needs to do is add trillions more – that’s trillion with a ‘T’ as Obama said.

BTW, Reid’s stated reason then was that the Boomers were about to start retiring so we needed to reduce the debt. Beginning on 01.01.10 (and lasting through 2020, at least), 10,000 Americans began to become eligible for Social Security and Medicare…EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Resist We Much on October 8, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Why aren’t the dems giving any ground? Is it because the law was passed as a unit and that (to my recollection) none of it could be stripped out without nullifying the whole thing? Is that their Achilles Heel that the ‘pubs aren’t viciously attacking minute by minute?

freedomfirst on October 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Sorry. Last comment was OT.
Talking about O’care….but somewhat related.

freedomfirst on October 8, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I believe that is spelled Krackhead.

motionview on October 8, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Who ever thought that Scranton Joe would be the Democrats best chance to end this?

Khun Joe on October 8, 2013 at 10:34 AM

For some inexplicable reason, Biden has Presidential aspirations. This impasse provides two options for him.

He can show just how awesome a leader he is- able to work with both parties to get compromise legislation through the House and Senate.

Or, he can keep low profile and keep his fingerprints off what is going to blow up in the administration’s face after the “give me everything I want and then we’ll negotiate” strategy.

Biden clearly is mostly in hiding other than the sandwich run with the lazy stupid coward last Friday.

Happy Nomad on October 8, 2013 at 10:53 AM

AWKward: WH adviser Dan Pfeiffer apologizes for ‘horrendous’ N-word tweet

Resist We Much on October 8, 2013 at 10:48 AM

He’s trying to pass it off as a Typo. Freud woud be amused.

But, of course, he’s a Democrat and supporter of the lazy stupid coward so he can’t possibly be racist. Had it been a Republican who used the non-racial word niggardly Jesse Jackson would already be out there demanding a resignation.

Happy Nomad on October 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Boehner just has to add in some money for a new train for Amtrak, and slow Joe will jump all over the House short term extension.

MTF on October 8, 2013 at 11:08 AM

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, aide: Obama called Boehner Tuesday, says he won’t negotiate on shutdown, debt ceiling – @AP

1 min ago by editor
========================

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., asks House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to ‘prove’ that Senate-passed continuing resolution can’t pass in the House – @thehill

8 mins ago from thehill.com by editor
==========================================

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/us-sequester-budget-resolution-2013

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 11:26 AM

US debt ceiling debate 2013
US government shutdown impact 2013

Social Security Administration: ‘Unlike a federal shutdown which has no impact on the payment of Social Security benefits, failure to raise the debt ceiling puts Social Security benefits at risk’ – @NBCNews

37 mins ago by editor
=========================

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/us-debt-ceiling-debate-2013

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Reuters Politics ‏@ReutersPolitics 26m

Boehner renews call for U.S. fiscal talks, ‘no line in the sand’ http://reut.rs/GLm8Ip
=======================

https://twitter.com/Reuters

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Congress could neuter the “default” claim by simply passing a law clarifying which parts of the government are considered non-essential and can be shut down temporarily during a budget crunch.

Why wouldn’t they do that one simple thing? Shouldn’t we have laid out a plan by now for prioritization of government functions in the event of funding problems?

Simple answer: they would rather it be a crisis with no convenient way to shut down the less critical parts of government without causing major issues.

There Goes the Neighborhood on October 8, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Looks like the fearmongering is beginning to work – market starting to stampede?

Midas on October 8, 2013 at 11:52 AM

US government shutdown impact 2013

US House releases text of ‘super committee’ bill; group to be made up of 10 members each from House, Senate – @thehill

14 secs ago from thehill.com by editor

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Debt Ceiling increases in dribbles. Make ‘em sweat each time they want to borrow more. And demand spending cuts or the size of the dribbles will shrink.

Dasher on October 8, 2013 at 11:53 AM

US debt ceiling debate 2013
US government shutdown impact 2013

Social Security Administration: ‘Unlike a federal shutdown which has no impact on the payment of Social Security benefits, failure to raise the debt ceiling puts Social Security benefits at risk’ – @NBCNews

37 mins ago by editor
=========================

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/us-debt-ceiling-debate-2013

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Is that true? My understanding has been that this is simply not true; prioritization of payments means that SS checks would still go out, and there’s ample tax revenue to pay entitlements *and* debt service.

Midas on October 8, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Nasdaq down over 1.5% this morning; Obama must be dancing with joy.

Midas on October 8, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Tweets All / No replies

The Associated Press ‏@AP 1m

BREAKING: White House says President Obama will hold a news conference at 2 p.m.
Expand
===============
The Associated Press ‏@AP 10m

BREAKING: White House says Obama urged House Speaker John Boehner to hold a vote on Senate Democratic plan to raise debt cap.
Expand
===============

https://twitter.com/AP

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 11:56 AM

US government shutdown impact 2013

White House: President Obama to deliver a statement at 2 pm ET today ‘and answer questions in the Brady Press Briefing Room’ – @lesleyclark

4 mins ago from twitter.com/lesleyclark by editor
=======================================================

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 11:58 AM

I think it is a good move, it allows the government “shut down” to last longer and show Americans how little they really need the mammoth size of government foisted upon us.

astonerii on October 8, 2013 at 12:05 PM

US government shutdown impact 2013

White House: President Obama to deliver a statement at 2 pm ET today ‘and answer questions in the Brady Press Briefing Room’ – @lesleyclark

4 mins ago from twitter.com/lesleyclark by editor
=======================================================

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Oh my god….He is going to give another speech!

And then answer some “questions” from his loyal propaganda team.

William Eaton on October 8, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Yesterday’s suggestion that they would accept a short-term debt-ceiling increase undercut Reid and signaled to Boehner that the GOP could exploit a rift between the Senate and the White House. Now Boehner can make the White House either bite the bullet and take a short-term deal, or reverse itself and shoulder more of the blame for the impasse.

So, the White House throws Boehner a life line, which he frantically grabs, and Hot Air spins this as a wily move by Boehner?

The White House offered the short term deal after Boehner took Obamacare off the table on Sunday. Of course, as is typical for Boehner, he offered something he could not deliver, and the White House walked back its offer.

In other news, one of the worst gubernatorial candidates in American history, Terry McAuliffe, has widened his lead against Tea Party favorite Ken Cucinelli here in Virginia since this budget drama started. No connection though, the American people are lining up behind the conservatives on this one.

Mr. Arkadin on October 8, 2013 at 1:51 PM

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO WAY!

Delsa on October 8, 2013 at 3:01 PM