Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Moment Democrats Must Simplify This Nation

(Update: Thank you again to Batocchio for including this blog on Crooks & Liars' Mike's Blog Round-Up!)

Riddle: How do you know when Democrats have slim majority control of both Houses of Congress?

Answer: When Republicans are happily playing a game of Chicken with the national debt ceiling. Again.

More details from Kelsey Snell at NPR:

Congress has fewer than 10 days to pass legislation to prevent another partial government shutdown, and Democrats hope to use the deadline pressure to force Republicans to help them pass a critical suspension of the federal borrowing cap.

Republican leaders have flatly rejected that plan, leaving Congress in a familiar political standoff over spending and debt that could have serious economic consequences...

The House voted on the bill Tuesday evening, passing the measure on party lines — 220 Democratic votes in support and 211 Republican votes against.

Democrats had sufficient votes to pass the legislation without Republicans in the House. But the fate of the bill is far less certain in the Senate, where GOP leaders have vowed to oppose it over objections to Democrats' broader spending ambitions...

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said Republicans would support a spending bill that includes basic government funding paired with disaster funding and money for Afghan refugees — but not if the bill addresses the debt limit.

"We do not have divided government. Democrats do not need our help," McConnell said in a statement. "They have every tool to address the debt limit on their own: the same party-line process they used to ram through inflationary spending in March and already plan to use again this fall..."

Mitch however is making a subtle Lie of Omission here: What he's NOT telling the media is that the Senate Democrats may have a 51-tiebreaker vote with VP Harris, this debt ceiling and budget vote currently both fall under the Cloture rules where the Republicans are threatening to filibuster and deny a straight up-or-down vote.

Back to the reporting from Snell:

This latest political fight over the debt is infuriating Democrats like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Democrats voted to increase the borrowing cap under then-President Donald Trump even as the debt ballooned when Republicans approved costly tax cuts and partisan spending priorities.

"It is quite rich coming from a party, and the party of Trump, who did $1.5 trillion in tax cuts and didn't pay for a penny of them," Gillibrand said in an interview with NPR.

Democrats have said Republicans need to take ownership of the debt they helped create — both through partisan legislation and when Congress voted for bipartisan COVID-19 relief spending under Trump...

There IS one way the Democrats can get around McConnell and his GOP Senate buddies' obstructionist plan: They could amend the budget they're trying to pass along with this debt ceiling hike through the Reconciliation process, which avoids the Cloture process and allows an up-or-down vote. However, it would force the Democrats to give up their biggest agenda items, it would limit the time frame any tax increases would work, and it would alienate the Progressive caucus in the House to where they could refuse to vote for the Infrastructure bill that had passed the Senate and needs passage in the House. 

There is an even easier way the Democrats can get around the GOP obstruction: Just fucking kill the Filibuster and the Cloture rule that forces these shenanigans every fucking time the Republicans are in minority the last 15 years. Sadly, if the Democrats try to do that, there are two self-serving "Centrist" Dems - Sinema and Manchin - who would refuse to do that because without that filibuster their lobbyist buddies are screwed they lose their importance as "independent Senators" in that august body.

McConnell is pretty much trying to force the Democrats to turn on each other just when they need to unite.

And the Democrats are letting him.

We're facing another Long October Shutdown. And while it WILL BE the fault of McConnell and his wingnut buddies, the Democrats are going to be the ones forced to pay the costs.

Simplify your world, Democrats. Get rid of the fucking Filibuster. Stop letting Mitch pull his obstructionist shit.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

Or get rid of the debt ceiling too. We fought in WW1. The issue it was born from is a century dead already.

-Doug in Sugar Pine