Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Open Thread & News Round-Up: Debt Negotiations

Here's the latest...

The HillObama officially threatens to veto Republicans' 'cut, cap and balance' bill:
The White House on Monday warned President Obama will veto GOP legislation to "cut, cap and balance" spending and the budget.

In a statement of administration policy, the White House Office of Management and Budget labeled the GOP bill as an "empty political statement."

The House Rules Committee is expected to take up the measure Monday, and it is likely to receive a floor vote on Tuesday. The measure would cut spending in fiscal 2012 by $111 billion, cap future spending at 19.9 percent of gross domestic product and allow for the debt ceiling to be increased if a balanced-budget amendment is approved by Congress and sent to the states.

The administration said the measure, which is not expected to move through the Senate, is unnecessary and unrealistic.

...The president's veto threat was followed by a full-on assault from administration officials who blasted the GOP proposal as "extreme, radical [and] unprecedented."
Joe Conason in the National MemoExclusive Bill Clinton Interview: I Would Use Constitutional Option to Raise Debt Ceiling: "Former President Bill Clinton says that he would invoke the so-called constitutional option to raise the nation's debt ceiling 'without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me' in order to prevent a default, should Congress and the President fail to achieve agreement before the August 2 deadline."

CNN—Coburn offers his own budget plan: "Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, released his version of a budget plan Monday, saying his ideas would save the country $9 trillion over 10 years. ... The plan, titled 'Back in Black,' includes cuts to the Department of Defense, entitlement reforms, and shutting down the Department of Education."

Think Progress—Rep. Louie Gohmert Wonders If Obama Chose Debt Ceiling Deadline To Coincide With His Birthday Party: "While a startling number of House Republicans refuse to accept experts' dire warnings about the possibility of default come Aug. 2 if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) thinks he has stumbled across the Obama administration's real motivation behind choosing that date. Many Republicans think the August date is a phony deadline Democrats invented to scare Congress into raising the ceiling, but Gohmert sees a more personal significance for President Obama—his 50th birthday on Aug. 4 and his birthday party on the 3rd. The fact that the party is the day after the debt deadline is something Gohmert finds awfully suspicious, he told Newsmax TV yesterday, suggesting that Obama chose the date so he could be a hero at his 'birthday bash' for the 'celebrities flying in from all over.'"

The HillReid: Saturday workdays for Senate: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday said the Senate would work weekends until Congress and the White House reach a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.
House leaders offered no new announcements on Monday about their own schedules, but sources said congressional leaders were prepared to keep lawmakers in session through the beginning of the August recess if negotiators fail to reach a deal."

WaPoPoll: Little confidence in leaders to deal with debt issue; Obama has edge:
[According to a new poll from the Washington Post and the Pew Research Center, a] third or fewer Americans express a "great deal" or even a "fair amount" of confidence in any of the five top congressional leaders at the center of negotiations aimed at avoiding an historic default – Republicans Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Eric Cantor and Democrats Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

President Obama fares better, although not particularly well: 48 percent of those polled have at least a fair amount of confidence in the president, but about as many, 49 percent, have "not too much" or "none at all." More say they have none than say they have a lot (32 to 24 percent).
George Packer in The New YorkerEmpty Wallets: "What does either side have to offer the tens of millions of Americans who have settled into a semi-permanent state of economic depression? Virtually nothing."

PoliticoDebt ceiling debate turns 'scary':
Washington's frayed nerves showed through Monday amid tough talk on the right, a White House veto threat, canceled weekend passes and the top Senate Democrat likening default to a "very, very scary" outcome even for those "who believe government should be small enough to drown in a bathtub."

"What will it take," asked an agitated Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), "for my Republican colleagues to wake up to the fact that they're playing a game of political chicken with the entire global economy?"

House Speaker John Boehner confirmed a POLITICO report that he had met again privately with President Barack Obama at the White House on Sunday to try to get debt talks back on track. But ignoring Obama's veto warning, Boehner will press ahead Tuesday with House votes on a revised debt ceiling bill that shows no sign of compromise on the spending and tax policy differences behind the crisis.
Of course. Because Boehner and his entire party are a bunch of fucking jackasses.