Monday, June 05, 2017

Guess what: We're in for another debt ceiling battle, because Republicans (kerry Eleveld) · Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 8:43 pm

Now that the GOP is running the whole show in Washington, you'd think we might be able to avoid yet another manufactured debt ceiling crisis. Apparently not. Donald Trump and his aides are angling to raise the debt ceiling by the end of July, blindsiding GOP lawmakers. Politico writes:

Lawmakers in both parties thought they’d have until the fall to act, and they had planned to roll the always-difficult vote into a broader spending package that could be more easily swallowed. That strategy may now have to be tossed aside with the debt limit deadline approaching faster than expected.

The White House request raises the prospect of a bruising fight over the debt limit — not just between Republicans and Democrats but within both parties. The GOP is torn over whether to combine spending cuts with the debt ceiling lift, and Senate Democrats are already signaling they may push for their own concessions because their votes are going to be needed to avoid a devastating government default. [...]

“We have to do it. We can’t let the government default,” said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). But, he added, “I don’t know if it has to be done” before the August recess.

If you're sensing a bit of alarm from Hatch, it's because he knows any default on the nation's debt could be calamitous for both the economy and, by extension, congressional Republicans.

In 2011, the GOP’s fight over the debt ceiling resulted in a credit downgrade and the sequester cuts loathed by Democrats and hawkish Republicans. In 2014, the Senate shut off the chamber’s microphones and held a debt limit vote open for more than an hour to avoid spooking Wall Street again.


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