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Monday, October 24, 2016

Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) plot to filibuster his own bill is pretty much doomed.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) opposes the effort, as does Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX). That means the junior senator got a lot of attention, but he likely doesn’t have the 41 votes he needs to stop the bill that funds the government without defunding Obamacare from heading back to the House.

If everything goes correctly, and the House doesn’t make any changes to the bill, the president should have a bill to sign by Monday that keeps the government funded, averting a shutdown.

And that’s when the real trouble could begin.

Congress still needs to raise the debt limit before the Department of Treasury runs out of money to pay its own bills sometime in the middle of October. House Republicans are preparing a list of things they want in exchange for authorizing the payment of debts they’ve already approved:

The Washington Examiner‘s David M. Drucker complains:

The package that House GOP leaders plan to unveil when their members return to Washington late Wednesday will be anchored by proposals to simultaneously raise the federal borrowing limit and delay for a year further implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, the legislation would likely include a collection of previously introduced bills popular among House Republicans and difficult for Obama to dominate, including construction of the job-rich Keystone XL pipeline.

The debt-ceiling package, set for a House vote by week’s end, could include a variety of GOP-friendly economic proposals, including tax reform, Medicare means testing, medical liability reform, an overhaul of the federal employee retirement system, elimination of the Dodd-Frank bailout, the easing of Environmental Protection Agency rules, restrictions on federal regulators and an expansion of offshore energy production.

And President Obama has already explained what he’s willing to give: Nothing.

The president negotiated with House Republicans in 2011 over the debt limit and feels that he sparked a dangerous precedent.

“We’re not going to set up a situation where the full faith and credit of the United States is put on the table every year or every year and a half and we go through some terrifying financial brinksmanship,” Obama said earlier this month. “It would fundamentally change how American government functions.”

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  • charleo1

    What did Republicans constantly repeat? That it was the uncertainty in the economy
    that was impeding the recovery. That President Obama should just go ahead and
    make the Bush tax cuts, permanent. Never mind they didn’t create the jobs promised,
    and did create huge deficits. It was the certainty of the wealthy knowing these extremely generous tax breaks were theirs, come Hell or high water, that they claimed would at last produce the jobs millions of Americans were hoping for. What all these
    Americans were going to be doing to keep busy at these jobs, without the stronger
    demand that usually creates jobs, the GOP never said. But, it was the uncertainty
    that was the problem. They were sure of it. Evidently threatening to default on the debt, which would tank the stock market, and raise interest rates on everything from credit cards to homes, doesn’t qualify as uncertainty.

    • sigrid28

      I think, like you, that consistency is the first rung on the ladder of logic; these Republicans think they don’t even have to put foot on it. It’s really a form of disrespect to their constituents, to everyone in the country.

      So, let’s accept that the base is satisfied to be told what to think and accepts whatever these charlatans say without question, as illogical as it may be.

      But what about the billionaires funding the campaigns that put these disrespectful Republicans into office? Do the hyper-wealthy have the capacity to separate the wheat from the chaff when they listen to the officials their dollars elected? Let’s imagine a universe where they live lavish lifestyles, cocooned in a sense of entitlement, reading a report from their accountants once a week or once a month–just to be sure, so pampered they barely have to carry cash with them when they leave the mansion. If they understood what was happening, would they not scream bloody murder when their paid-for Representatives refused to raise the debt ceiling on time FOR ANY REASON–forget this fanciful list of “demands.” Are these super rich folks willing to let the stock market crash, the banks they own implode, and the international monetary deals they love to dabble in fall apart? I don’t think so.

      After all they have done to enable inequality within the United States, it seems Republicans have forgotten the laws that govern feudal times such as those in which we are not living, thanks to them. The aristocracy calls the tunes, not commoners.

      • charleo1

        Well, you certainly do make an interesting point. I have had the same
        thoughts. What do these bankers, and corporate moguls think when
        these T-Partiers, many of them there, because these rich guys
        financed their campaigns, try to blow up the economy every chance
        they get? Do they think they created a monster they are now unable
        to control? I’m just a commoner, so anything I say is pure conjecture.
        But, I do remember in 2011 when these same guys seemed intent on
        causing a default. It wasn’t a case of you give us this, that, and the
        other thing, and we won’t kill the hostage. It was more like, you can
        try to talk us out of it. But we all think killing the hostage is a lot better
        idea, than almost anything we can imagine we would get as ransom.
        So, the GOP leaders, along with a lot of help from Democrats, managed a work a round at the last minute. There was a meeting
        with the this T-Party faction, in 2011, with business leaders, and corporate heads, from around the Country trying to talk some sense
        to these ideologues. To no avail. I remember Mitch McConnell coming to the podium, literally green around the gills, relaying to
        the various domestic business interests, and a very nervous world market, they were going to this done. Can you imagine the
        embarrassment of the GOP leaders, in not being able to deliver
        their own caucus? Well, now their back!!! And, the GOP party elites
        created every bit of this misery all by themselves. With their greedy
        gerrymandering, and rigged primary electoral processes. And a totally outrageous, over the top, 24/7, propaganda campaign.
        Now hostages themselves, in a web created out their own lies.

        • They’ve willingly shackled themselves to a ticking nuke in exchange for short-term power.

        • sigrid28

          Only one little old, itty bitty, teeny tiny complaint with your post, charleo1–you are anything but COMMON! I, on the other hand, am a person who probably has to lay off watching stuff like “The White Queen” on Starz and reading Ken Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth.” A little English palace intrigue goes a long way.

          The puppeteers may very well have lost control of a few of their creations, but I find it hard to believe that they no longer control a majority of Republicans in the House. It costs a fortune to run an election even in a gerrymandered district, doesn’t it? How many of the ornery Tea Partiers can afford that on their own?

          And what about John Boehner? All he has to do to avert a self-inflicted disaster brought about by the Republicans is ignore the Hastert rule–one, two, three times or more–letting Democrats and the sane Republicans pass decent legislation to the Senate for the CR, for raising the debt ceiling, and for getting a decent budget rolling?

          But follow my overheated fictionalized theory a step further: If Jim DeMint found himself with a great platform at a right wing think tank and a huge salary when he stepped down from the Senate, why can’t the power elite find a similar plum for John Boehner–who would then have incentive to go out in glory, sacrificing his seat as Speaker of the House for the good of the country and defying the anarchists in his own party?

          • Dominick Vila

            Because the anarchists need a scapegoat – a lightning rod, if you will – to deflect attention from themselves and the harm they have been doing, and plan to continue doing, to our economy and our society.

          • sigrid28

            Dear Dominick, who thinks these things through so brilliantly, why would not John Boehner be the perfect lightning rod? Would their choice of a new Speaker of the House be even worse? Maybe. But if the CR was loaded up the right way–with a workable budget, with maybe the debt ceiling attached–if Boehner gets only one more bite of the apple when it comes to breaking the Hastert rule, wouldn’t that get us past these economic mine fields and get a budget at least into conference?

          • Lovefacts

            John Boehner is responsible for a lot of this mess. He’s weak and has forgotten a key point–HE IS THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, not the republicans. The Republican House Whip is responsible for keeping his/her party in line. The Speaker is to negotiate with the opposing party and pass legislation to keep the country running. The Hastert Rule is an abomination. It puts party ahead of country. But then, why am I surprised. These are the same people who signed a pledge that put not raising taxes ahead of the country’s needs, even during two wars.

          • sigrid28

            I’m in complete agreement. His weakness makes Boehner a perfect foil for Ted Cruz, who has just been demoted to the Steve King and Louie Gohmert club for growth of idiocy in the Republican party. Under one scenario, if the wealthy puppeteers wish to remain anonymous, Boehner HAS to look slightly better than Cruz if he is to seem at all heroic, were he to fall on his sword to avert the disaster the Tea Party seems intent on bringing about, by refusing to follow the Hastert Rule and getting himself thrown out as Speaker of the House. Then he could fail to run for re-election and collect a Jim DeMint-like reward. The problem for the country is, if Boehner goes, who would replace him as Speaker of the House?

    • Al Hubbard

      The Bush tax cuts are permanent for the 98%. Taxes were increased for the top 2%. I bailed out of the market last week…Ready to buy back in once this debacle ends.

      • charleo1

        Sounds like what the smart money would do. Do you see this as in
        any way an intentional manipulation of the markets? Or, just a case
        of the side effects of dysfunction, caused by unyielding ideology?
        Because Warren Buffet made an interesting comment. That even
        in the circumstance of a technical default, the market would hold
        together for a time, in the belief that eventually rationality would
        win out.

        • sigrid28

          Now I feel really sick. Citizens United opened up the possibility of international manipulation, after all.

          • charleo1

            I’m not much of a conspiracy believing guy. For example,
            I don’t believe the UN’s goal is to create a new world order.
            Where the U.S. is just another Country subservient to a secretly chosen world government. Or, the Trilateral Commission, that controls, well everything. But, I don’t discount the power of Wall Street either. It is all there in black, and white the number of Goldman-Sachs executives that have served in high level positions in the U.S. Government, and the Federal Reserve. Larry Summers,
            another former CEO of Goldman-Sachs, was rumored to be Obama’s pick to replace Barnanke, before Senate Democrats promised a revolt. So, I don’t believe it was an accident, Hank Paulson former CEO of Goldman, allowed Lehman Bros., one of Goldman’s top competitors go belly up, while AIG Goldman’s co-conspirator, and insurer of the value of the bundled up mortgage packages Goldman sold all over the world, was determined by Paulson to be too big to fail, and so was bailed out. So could the “crazy, T-Party,” be in actuality a controlled cabal, insiders know will not, in the end wreck the bond market? Just create a sell off. I’m going to
            stick with my first inclination, that the TP is, in reality crazy.
            And fully willing, if allowed to do so, wreck the bond market
            over raising the debt ceiling. Because some of them believe
            the power to borrow should be taken away from the Federal
            Government. And the quickest way to do so, is to ruin the
            credit of the Country. So, Yes Elizabeth. There really is a
            Stupid T-Party after all.

  • latebloomingrandma

    If it comes down to the wire, the President should raise it, and dare the SCOTUS to overturn it. Of course, the 14th amendment also states that no Senator shall engage in insurrection? What is Sen. Cruz doing, if not trying to bring down the country?

  • docb

    joe maccarthy cruz is so stupid he does not get the point of the Green eggs and Ham story…You do not knock things till you try it! The crazy repub baggers are against anything tht helps the Nation..Idiots All!

    • latebloomingrandma

      Not to mention when he was ranting that people are afraid of change, that’s why Republicans are afraid to join him to defund Obamacare. Huh? Who’s the one who doesn’t want to change anything by trying it and moving forward? That just goes to show you, like Santorum, fancy degrees does not mean you are not still stupid.

  • HGB

    The 14th Amendment, article 4 is very clear; Congress must honor the national debt.
    We must pay for what Congress has already authorized and, essentially, bought. Why is the President reluctant to cite it and simply raise the debt limit? Reagan raised it some 17 times. Nobody tried to hold him hostage to tit-for-tat legislation.

  • Stuart

    Time for the trillion-dollar coin.

  • howa4x

    They are not gong to shut the government down or defund Obama/Romney care. They are counting on Obama to blink and come up with a compromise that pushes the mandate off a year. That will give them more time to make it a 2014 issue in the elections. Trust me they don’t want to go into that election as the party that was completely reckless.

  • LotusJoan

    One morning I would like to wake up and discover that Cruz,
    Boehner and others are merely characters from a Vonnegut book I had read before
    sleep on top of chili for dinner. That in fact intransigence , misanthropy, and sociopathic behaviors had not been elevated to virtues. Cock eyed optimists
    that I am

  • SeekingOut

    I thought Pres O would have shown more strength and clarity in understanding how he must deal with his detractors and obstructionists. Unfortunately, his reflexive belief that he can negotiate with them is still rearing its futile head. I hope he can change. He should adopt the Clinton solution and approve the ceiling himself.

    • nirodha

      I wish that Obama would adopt some of the Lyndon Johnson playbook and play hardball. I love his intellect, but he’s just too nice a guy.

  • howa4x

    People in the media paint this as a nightmare, but get a grip everyone. The biggest losers to a republican shut down are their backers in the defense industry and on Wall St. Think of what and who we owe money to. The Bond market, and all the defense contractors and they won’t let this happen, since they won’t get paid. The republicans won’t risk a 200 point drop in stock prices over Obama care. That would be about a trillion in wealth lost.. All Obama has to do is not compromise and not blink and this show will be over

    • Yvette White

      Do you really believe that,I hope your right

      • howa4x

        I think I am. Just think it thru

  • highpckts

    I wish the President could tell them to go to Hell!!