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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The House has voted 285 to 144 to extend the debt limit until May — 218 Republicans voted for the bill, but 19 ended up changing their votes after it was clear the bill would pass and Democrats began voting “yes.”

The bill requires the Senate to pass a budget, something they reportedly planned on doing anyway, or Congress will not be paid. Some question whether this #NoBudgetNoPay gimmick, which picks up on a constant Republican talking point, is even Constitutional. But the Senate has indicated it will approve the bill and send it to the president, who will sign it.

Raising the debt limit has never been popular, but it has always been done without any serious objection — until the summer of 2011.

That’s when the House GOP used the raising of the debt limit to demand a dollar in spending cuts for every dollar the limit was raised. After shaking the financial markets — wiping out six months of gains in a week — the GOP agreed to a debt deal it’s still trying to void.

Both the president’s and the House Republicans’ approval rating was damaged by that debacle. But the president was re-elected and his approval rating is near an all-time high, while only about 1 out of 4 Americans approve of the House majority, which — as you know by now — was only retained because of dark money and dirty redistricting.

Last week at the House GOP “retreat,” Paul Ryan (R-WI) reportedly told the caucus that they had to readjust their expectations. After Republicans gave in to raising taxes in the “fiscal cliff” compromise with no serious spending cuts, they vowed to fight again on the debt limit. Now, Ryan — their leader and the least popular member of the Romney/Ryan ticket — was telling them that they would have to extend the debt limit.

To make up for this compromise –ick! — Paul Ryan promised that he would introduce a budget they could pass that would balance in 10 years. No one has seen this budget yet, but it will certainly feature even deeper cuts than Ryan’s previous budgets that balanced over 30 years. The New Republic‘s Jonathan Cohn looked at Ryan’s last budget and found that “government would be so starved of resources that, by 2050, it wouldn’t have enough money for core functions like food inspections and highway maintenance.”

Ryan’s new budget would create a crippled government much sooner.

Many Republicans are furious at Boehner for violating his own precedent to demand cuts to raise the debt limit. This, along with a House full of Republicans dying for a fight, makes a government shutdown around March 27 — when federal funding runs out — far more likely.

But even that is better than letting America reach the debt limit, which would likely create a financial crisis similar to or worse than 2008. Luckily, the GOP seems to have tricked itself out of playing with that kind of fire again.

Photo credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

  • elw

    Breaking news, Republicans step on their own toes again.

    • wesley rasmussen

      JUST their toes?

  • Too bad they don’t have the guts to just increase the limit and get on with it. This can kicking just delays the action that they will have to accomplish in May. There is no way the Senate and House will come to a deal on a budget that quickly. If that was possible they would have figured out a way to do that the last four years. Nice joke, but this is not very funny. I’m so tired of this bunch with their clown car show. It is time for them to come up with another act.

  • sleeve

    It is very funny to me that they went on their big strategic retreat and came out convinced that 51% of us were wrong about their candidates, messaging, strategies, policies, tactics, and homogeneity. So they double down on dumbing themselves down, and plow on; hard-headed, fuming, rabid, and angrily grumbling; doing the bare minimum to get by, so that we all know they are very, very, mad at us because they lost. If they don’t watch their blood pressures, with their advanced age, excessive weight, and sedentary lifestyles, they might just stroke out; especially after working like 3 or 4 days in a row.

    • If they get their way in most states they will fix this problem of the rest of us being wrong in our wishes by causing our votes to not matter with their changes in the Electoral college voting. Just what we need. Oh well if you can’t rig the voting machines themselves then I guess rigging the outcome (a la gerrymandering) is the next best bet. Turns one man, one vote into a joke.

      • johninPCFL

        Yeah, when the Canadian company acquired Sequoia and Diebold, they really screwed up the GOP short-term plan. The Canadians apparently felt that Obama was more qualified than Romney, and let the win register.

    • I wonder what kind of Kool AID they were drinking at the retreat. Maybe Moonshine?

  • Kicking the can down the road only prolongs the agony. The fact that we have a debt problem, and that we must meet our obligations, is not a new revelation and it is something Congress should have been working on for months. I suppose delaying the inevitable is better than nothing,what worries me is that, most likely, we will face the same dilemma 3 months from now. Republicans know the Bush tax cuts wiped out the surplus they inherited in 2000, they know that engaging in two crusades without the necessary appropriations was irresponsible, and they know that cuts in social programs would kill their chances in 2014 and beyond. As a result, they are looking for gimmicks to give the illusion that they are doing something constructive when, in reality, they are only playing a game of chicken hoping the President proposes something that gets them off the hook.
    Congress is responsible for appropriations, it is their job to come up with a solution.

    • Please remember to tell the whole story Dominick. During Clinton’s Administration, the entire Congress was Republican, and, much of the surplus was gained from allowing large cuts in our National Defense.

      • johninPCFL

        So how much of the “surplus” contributed to the $1T of increase in the national debt that acrued during his 8 years?

        Maybe you don’t know, but Clinton continued the fiscal trick began by Reagan to keep military spending off the budget. Obama put it back in, which is why his deficits look larger than GWBs, but add to the national debt at the same rate.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    I’d like to know which of the GOP House members has had a balanced household budget from the day they received their first ever paychecks. I’d love to know how many of these GOP boi geniuses have managed to never have a huge house or car repair, a serious illness that reeks medical havoc on their paychecks and still balanced their budgets. The qualifications for this odyssey of financial fantasy? At least 20 years of a balanced household budget. This one I have to see to believe.

    The US has been involved in 2 simultaneous wars for more than a decade now. One war, of which, we had absolutely no business getting into. Nor the financial capacity. But, the US taxpayers have to support the wealth of Halliburton and Eric Prince of Blackwater, don’t you know? So march march march into Iraq, amass $3.2 trillion in debt in a mere 7 years and then when the bills for this unnecessary war keep coming long after we pull out, let’s balance the budget off the backs of only the Middle Class and working poor, right?

    Nope…wrong. Not before we cut the salaries of the House GOP majority in half, demand they pay for their own retirements and healthcare and then let’s see how “balanced” their household budgets will be. Common sense never was a strong suit for the GOP.

    • Excellent post Eleanore. However, even if we took away ALL their salary and benefits, most of them wouldn’t even feel it. Once entrenched in the muck of politic’s they all are set for life. So are their families. This applies to both sides. The only difference in the parties is at the very least Dem’s continue to show compassion for everyone.

      • I agree, but I share Eleanore’s frustration. Cutting their salaries in half, or impeaching all of them and replacing them with a robot, would not make a dent on the budget, but it sure would make us feel better.
        Not only did we engage in two unfunded crusades, one of them totally unnecessary and immoral, the GOP now blames President Obama for the cost incurred after it was finally moved to the national debt, where it should have been all along.

      • Right Judith, both parties, but the so-called compassionate party, tell us how compassionate it will be for us when just the interest on our National Debt will take 100% of our revenue, and S.S. & Medicare are completely bankrupt?

    • ObozoMustGo

      Eleanore… you’re rapidly lowering yourself to an equivalent level of stupid of that moron Fern Woodfork. I mean really… you’re sounding as dumb as rock! You do know that, right? First off, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan do not even come close to $3.2T over the past 10+ years. You leftist freaks love to make crap up, but that doesn’t make it true. Obozo’s been running the show for the last 4+ years. In fact, according to DoD financial reports up to last summer, the total cost of the Afghan war since 2001 has been as follows:

      Total Cost of Afghan War since 2001 = $557B
      Total spent since Obozo took office in 2009 = $385B


      Why don’t you get your facts straight before you look like a fool?

      Also, what kind of idiot thinks that a bunch of rich guys from both parties don’t balance their own personal budgets? Of course they do, you dope. They’re rich. And what kind of a bigger idiot thinks that this is a reason why they should NOT balance the Federal Budget?

      You should learn to keep your mouth shut, Eleanor.

      Have a nice day!

      “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain

      • Did you get your numbers from Fox News, or what. They are WAY off! Iraq from the beginning has cost us between 200B and 300B PER YEAR. And we are still there! Afghanistan hasn’t cost as much, but not much less, and we will be there for at least another year. Obozomustgomustgo.

        • ObozoMustGo

          Hey moron… they are DoD numbers. look them up you fool.

      • Zedsdead

        You need to calm down, go get your Bushmaster from the closet, sit on the couch and turn on Lizard Lick or perhaps Honey Boo Boo or for a real uplifting moment for you teabaggers, watch an hour of the UFC…… will feel so much better…….YOU LOST………..GET OVER IT AND GET USED TO IT UNLESS YOU SETTLE DOWN AND ACT LIKE ADULTS.

  • lambypie

    Eleanore thank you, I couldn’t agree with you more. Like I have always said if I didn’t do the job I was hired to do I would be fired. To bad we can’t stop paying them while they diddle around doing nothing hate to think we have to wait until 2014.

    • highpckts

      lambypie – it has been suggested that there will be no pay BUT the back pay will go into escrow!! What’s with that?? When we say no pay, we NO pay, not a huge savings account!!

      • johninPCFL

        That’s called slavery, and it’s ilegal. You can fire someone for not doing their job, but you can’t make them work for free until they do it properly. Unfortunately, the voters “hire” and “fire” their representatives, and there is no mechanism for other interventions.

  • They have extended the debt limit until May!! really!! Are they also asking the budget for a short period of time?? I get difficulties to understand these people.

  • Fairplay4

    The GOP has ties itself in a knot. Their conservative backers generated their wealth through the purchasing power of middle and lower income people. When you restrict the income of this subset of the population you dry up your profits. To get out of this bind they are now after social programs that have financial resources to exploit. These are demons in angelic garments. They pursue the abortion issue to try to pull wool over the eyes of the electorate and they would like to restrict education to retard the intellectual power of those who are not rich enough to fund their own schooling.

  • Only error or omission in this article is that Tea partiers and Republicans want one dollar of Domestic spending cuts, meaning SS, Medicare, Medicaid, Health care or anything that actually helps people. They will not ask for or take one penny away from their defense budget which is enormous to say the least and unnecessary at best.


    It looks to me like the TURD PARTY would like to delay this in hopes that something ugly will occur on the Progressive side of the isle.

    That way they can, hopefully, divert attention from all of the scumbag crap they continue to come up with.

  • one_veteran

    What is really going to happen with “no budget, no pay” is Republicans in congress pass a budget cutting or eliminating Medicare, Medicade, Social Security, The VA, and Veterans Benifits and care, as well as futher screwing the poor and middle class, and send it to the Senate.

    The Senate Democrats vote it down and create a Budget, cutting tax loopholes and deductions mostly benifitting the top 1% and large Cooperations, Not cutting or eliminating what the house republicans want.

    They go to “reconcile their differences” which won’t happen! No Budget, back to holding the country hostage trying to get their way.

    Republicans need to go back and start over in pre school where most reasonable people learn to get along with others and they will never get their way throwing tantrams, and put in a corner for their behavior.

  • highpckts

    They already used SS as a slush fund and now they won’t pay it back the IOU’s! The abortion issue is, you are right, a smoke screen!! I read where China is investing millions in education! Of course they are because that will make them far more ready for the future than we ever will be! The GOP , I’m sorry to say, is drowning in it’s own repugnance!! I’m an Independent and have been watching this happen for a long time now!!

    • johninPCFL

      The IOUs are driving today’s borrowing. The fedgov needs about $500B to run. Everything else (SS, Medicare, Medicaid, military) adds another $3300B. The fedgov revenues are around $2.1T this year, so there will be a $1.2T shortfall.

  • faxt42

    You said it to the point Eleanore and many people here, shall we march to the capital demanding this GOP to work for every dollar they receive as their salaries and demanding to cut half of their salaries including pay their own healthcare?

    There are more than 200 GOPs in the congress, shall we demanding them to be questioned of what they have done in destroying our economics and bad mouthing of those who work so hard to move the obstacles and do problem solving.

    We have to question them of what they will do to those service men and women after coming back from war zones, what the resolutions and planning they have rather having the easy work by saying cut the deficit. We do not want the GOP shepherd in congress , we want working people who can work for the country , democrats or independents or working group not the tea party and elephants bullies group.

    • johninPCFL

      Well, they’ve already cut their work year down to 126 days, so get cracking.

      BTW, at their current salary, that’s nearly $1500 per day.

  • faxt42

    Well, the retreat that the GOP had, could be laying out the strategies how to change the demogrphic to gain more GOP in to the congress rather than getting their brain to work onhow to close the loop holes tax that the riches benefit from.

  • ObozoMustGo

    Is it any wonder why the Congress has such a low approval rating? They can’t stick to their own principles. And regardless of what side you are on, the one thing we all hate are wishy-washy politicians that cannot stand by what they say they will and will not do.

    Perhaps at this point, Dingy Harry will actually do his effing job and get the Senate to actually pass a budget. What a novel idea.

    [click image to enlarge]

    Have a nice day!

    “I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there’s a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, now you’ve got the incentives in the right place, right?” — Warren Buffett

  • The way to get Republicans to pass anything is for Democrats to all NO, then Republicans will automatically separate themselves and vote YES, then Democrats wait until the last minutes and change their votes to YES…. That how you trick Idiots.

  • I’ll make this simple.
    I can’t stand Republicans.

  • ayayaboy

    Eric Cantor may soon go for policy rehab.

  • onedonewong

    Now the GOP waits on Obama’s late budget to see if he is serious about fixing the debt or is just more PAP. Time will tell and I hope for the country’s sake he’s serious because the alternative is a shut down of the govt

  • And what happens in May, once more ring around the Maypole? We know they will be wrangling again, and we know the results will be the same, except this time maybe the Tea Party will just fall apart, or Boehner might sober up, or Ryan might get excommunicated.