Thursday, July 28, 2011

Open Thread & News Round-Up: Debt Negotiations

Here's the latest...

TPMDC—Hope for Boehner? Some House Conservatives Closing Ranks on Debt Limit Bill: "On Tuesday, conservative Republican Study Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) predicted defeat for House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) plan to raise the debt limit. ... He was counting on the opposition of dozens of House conservatives who have in the past pledged not to raise the debt limit on terms that compromising with Democrats would require. Twenty-four hours later, after taking a beating from the GOP establishment and party leadership, and after watching Democrats grow more and more confident in their ability to split the Republican coalition, those conservatives are reconsidering their rebellion."

But outside Congress...

The HillTea Party leader: Boehner must go: "Tea Party Nation leader Judson Phillips called on House Speaker John Boehner 'to go' and be replaced by a 'Tea Party Speaker of the House' in a blog post Wednesday morning, the same day that Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, said that her group was looking into the same idea. 'Now Boehner is in the process of surrendering again. He is surrendering not to [President] Obama, but to the status quo in Washington,' Phillips wrote."

Back in the Speaker's office...

Think Progress—Boehner: 'A Lot' of Republicans Want to Force Default, Create 'Enough Chaos' to Pass Balanced Budget Amendment: "House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said today that some members of his own caucus who are refusing to agree to a compromise debt ceiling deal are hoping to unleash 'chaos' and thus force the White House and Senate Democrats to make bigger concessions than they're already offering."

Oh, look who's talking...

The NoteMcCain Blasts Tea Party for 'Foolish' Demands in Debt Debate:
"To hold out and say we won't agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the constitution. It's unfair, it's bizarre," McCain railed on the Senate floor, "And maybe some people have only been in this body for six or seven months or so really believe that. Others know better."

Many of the most conservative members of the House have said they will not vote for any debt ceiling increase that does not include a Balanced Budget Amendment and deeper spending cuts. Similarly, some conservatives Republicans in the Senate have said the same.

McCain called this "amazing," "foolish" and "deceiving" that some members believe that this can happen, now with only 6 days left until the nation defaults on its debts with the August 2 deadline for action looming.

"To somehow think or tell our citizens that if we have enough debate and amendment here in the Senate in the short term in the next six days that we will pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution is unfair to our constituents," McCain said.

McCain is a supporter of a Balanced Budget Amendment but does not believe that the station now, just six days away from the August 2 deadline for action, is the correct time to be pushing for this when it does not stand a chance when connected to the debt ceiling increase.
When John McCain is your voice of reason, Republicans, you have DERAILED.

The CaucusSenate Democrats Promise to Reject Boehner Plan: "Fifty-three Democratic senators have signed a letter to House Speaker John A. Boehner saying they intend to vote against his plan for an increase in the debt ceiling, virtually assuring its defeat in the Senate even as the speaker lines up Republican votes to pass it in the House on Thursday. Votes are not final until they are cast. But if the Democrats hold to their promise in the letter, Mr. Boehner's plan for a six-month increase in borrowing authority will not make it to President Obama's desk."

D-Day at FireDogLake: "Both parties have insistently harped on the desirability of cutting the deficit for the past six months [at the expense of progressive economic options]. The public may not be tuned in, but they pick up on these broad themes, and since there has been no debate on public investment in job creation, they naturally gravitated toward the fantasy of expansionary contraction. To those who want to say that the President is making the best of a bad situation, THIS is the problem. It changes the entire dynamic of the realm of possible economic solutions for the next decade or more. And when the economy suffers from austerity, since a Democrat basically called for it, that's who will be blamed."

David at Hullabaloo: "As if the White House couldn't get any more dense, members of President Obama's text message feed received the following today: 'Join President Obama in calling on Congress for a balanced approach to reducing the deficit. Contact your House representative at [number].' You've got to be kidding. Since the Grand Bargain is pretty much dead, there are only two plans on the table, and they're pretty similar: Harry Reid's right-wing austerity approach that counts savings from reductions in spending on the wars overseas while shifting the need to take up this argument again until after the 2012 election, and John Boehner's even farther right-wing austerity measure that doesn't count those savings, while forcing everyone to go through this fight again early next year."