Wednesday, July 13, 2011

McConnell Debt Ceiling Plan - #3070 - Mitch McConnell Just Proposed the "Pontius Pilate Pass the Buck Act of 2011 - Redstate (2) Why McConnell's Debt Limit Proposal is a Bad Idea - Washington Examiner (3) Breaking: McConnell Proposes Alternative Debt Ceiling Deal - Townhall

Consider the Associated Press’s headline right now: “GOP Leader McConnell proposes giving Obama new power for automatic debt limit increase”.  Mitch McConnell is right now talking about making a historic capitulation. So fearful of being blamed for a default, McConnell is proposing a compromise that lets Barack Obama raise the debt ceiling without making any spending cuts at all.  Consider sending McConnell a weasel as testament to his treachery. His address is 601 W. Broadway, Room 630, Louisville, KY 40202 and the phone number is (502) 582-6304.  McConnell’s idea is to make the debt ceiling automatic unless Congress, by a 2/3 vote blocks the increase. Oh yes, he put a salve on it by dressing it up in tough talk that, to quote the Wall Street Journal, “[a] ‘eal solution’ to U.S. fiscal problems isn’t possible as long as President Barack Obama remains in office.” So since no “real solution” is possible, McConnell proposes to go Pontius Pilate and wash his hands of spending, blaming Obama while doing nothing himself.  Here is how the plan would work.  In a nutshell, the President would get to raise the debt ceiling three times in the next year at several billion bucks a pop without making any spending cuts unless two-thirds of both houses of Congress disagree. In his press conference, McConnell says he would not give the President “unilateral authority to make spending cuts on his own,” but this plan would allow the President to raise the debt ceiling pretty much automatically.  Read more....... AW - What a horrible idea, but why should we be surprise MConnell would come up with this as a plan.  Read on....


Why McConnell's Debt Limit Proposal is a Bad Idea - Washington Examiner -  This afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled a proposal that is a stunning attempt to beam himself out of the debt ceiling fight. Under the proposal, Congress would give President Obama the authority to raise the debt limit without cutting spending by a combined total of $2.5 trillion, while needing the support of just over one-third of the House and Senate.  The way it would work would be that three times before now and next summer, Obama would make a request to Congress to raise the debt limit, and he'd have to offer a plan to cut spending by a higher amount. Both chambers of Congress would then automatically consider a resolution to disapprove of Obama’s request. If that resolution passes -- i.e. if Congress votes to reject Obama's request -- then Obama could veto it. Because it takes a two-thirds majority in both chambers to override a veto, that means just 34 Senators or 146 House members would be needed to sustain it and thus raise the debt ceiling.  If you sound confused, you aren't alone. But here are a few things to keep in mind about the deal that make it unattractive for conservatives.  First, it won't result in any spending cuts. The key caveat is that under the plan, Obama wouldn't have to actually cut spending -- he would merely have to propose spending cuts. And of course, there are plenty of ways to propose phony savings.  Second, McConnell is pitching this as a "last resort" plan if there's a failure to reach a deal, which would be his preferred option. However, by unveiling this proposal now, it reduces the chances for the type of deal that McConnell says he supports. Obama now knows that McConnell is looking for a way out. As long as Obama feels that he has Republicans on the ropes, he's much less likely to make the sort of concessions the GOP wants.   Read more.......

McConnell Proposes Alternative Debt Ceiling Deal - Townhall - Having thrown down this gauntlet, McConnell is introducing an alternative compromise that would, in all likelihood, allow the president to get his debt ceiling increase -- but not without paying a bruising political price.  First some important background: Positives - (1) It forces Democrats, especially the president, to wear this mess. Not once, but three times. (2) It (supposedly) includes over $2.5 Trillion in spending reductions. (3) It does not raise taxes. (4) And it prevents a cataclysmic default.  Negatives - (1) As far as I can tell, there are no enforcement mechanisms to hold the president to his end of the bargain on spending cuts at each step of this process. If he sets forth woefully inadequate cuts (think Obamacare-style smoke & mirrors, or devastating defense cuts), or if he simply refuses to meet the "required" dollar amounts, I don't see how Republicans can force a correction or scuttle the deal.* Once the initial legislation authorizing Obama to send these requests is passed, the die is cast. That is deeply worrisome. (2) Desperately-needed entitlement reform is off the table, meaning that huge elephant will remain in the room for the forseeable future (although one could argue this will be the case as long as Obama is president anyway). (3) Finally, on a superficial level, this strikes me as an exercise in too-cute-by-halfery. Republicans are constructing a scenario which allows them to vote no on something that they tacitly understand will come to fruition anyway. From a purely political standpoint, it makes some sense, but it's also not especially serious, given the gravity of the problem we face.  Read more......

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