Could something be done to avoid such a future, where the debt ceiling is a legislative ping-pong ball?
It is true that members of the current Congress cannot bind the actions of a future Congress. So any legislative rule that lawmakers would pass today — even if such a rule could pass — would be subject to being overturned by future members of Congress.
That leaves the possibility of a constitutional fix…
Could that be part of a grand constitutional bargain in which the president gets the unquestioned authority to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for a balanced budget amendment sought by Republicans? Given the difficulty that the parties had reaching a “grand bargain” on a 10-year spending plan, that seems rather far-fetched.