PICKET: 'Up against the wall' politics in play during debt ceiling debate

← return to Water Cooler


Deja vu. Lawmakers in Washington are racing against the clock to pass another bill. The debt ceiling issue, the current crisis that caused the Senate to cancel their July 4 recess and stay in Washington to hammer out a deal (albeit behind closed doors) before the August 2 deadline, only brings back memories of the health care debate’s closed door meetings that happened when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, canceled Columbus day recess in 2009 and later threatened to cancel Christmas recess in 2010 if bills like the tax rate extension, the START treaty, and the repeal of DADT were not dealt with. 

Deadline politics is certainly nothing new, but the continuous use of looming deadlines and long recesses to produce something, no matter how horrible, is wearing.

“What I’m concerned about,” Senator John Cornyn, Texas Republican, told Fox News Sunday yesterday,”is the president by not seriously putting a proposal forward but is rather just criticizing those who have.” Mr. Cornyn then added, “We’re running up against this deadline and they’re going to try and present it as a fait de compli…nobody’s going to have time to read it and consider the implications of it, and he’s going to say you have to pass it or the economy’s going down the tubes. That’s just irresponsible.” 

The national debt is already at $14 trillion and August 2 is the Treasury department’s deadline for when the U.S. could go into default if the debt ceiling is not raised by Congress, but both political parties have different conditions for their approval to do so. Senator Cornyn hinted at a possibility for a “mini deal” with the administration, but cautioned that it would only be a temporary fix.

“The problem with a mini-deal is we have a maxi problem,” said Mr. Cornyn. “We’ll take the savings we can get now, and we will re-litigate this as we get closer to the election.”

Both Republicans and Democrats agree that over the next ten years, $4 trillion needs to be cut from the federal budget deficit. However, the GOP wants to see the cuts happen through less spending and Democrats continue to argue for revenue increases (tax hikes) and some spending reductions.

Finally, there is a concern that the administration will try to re-interpret the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution and try to bypass Congress and raise the debt ceiling without the legislative branch. Senator Cornyn, a former Texas Supreme Court Judge, responded to such a tactic saying, “That’s crazy talk. It’s not acceptable for Congress and the president not to do their job and to say somehow the president has the authority then to basically do this by himself.”

Maybe so, but when a political deadline was looming during the healthcare debate, the last card the Democrats pulled, following the election of Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown (and the loss of the Senate Democrats’ super majority), was using budget reconciliation to pass the health care bill in the Senate, a procedure that many still argue was misapplied; however, political expediency ruled the day and like the health care bill, the debt ceiling may very well be ruled by political expediency as well.






← return to Water Cooler

About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

Latest Stories

Latest Blog Entries

blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

    LAMBRO: Skirting the lane-closure issue

  • Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

    LYONS: Benghazi demands a select committee in Congress

  • Happening Now