Fever Breaking? Clean Debt Ceiling Bill Passes House

February 11th, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Speaker John Boehner brought a clean bill to increase the debt ceiling to the floor of the House tonight, and it passed with mostly Democrat votes.

From the NYT:

The vote – 221-201 – relied primarily on Democrats to carry the legislation, the first debt ceiling increase since 2009 that was not attached to other measures. Only 28 Republicans voted yes. But it effectively ended a three-year, Tea Party-fueled era when a series of budget showdowns raised the threat of debt defaults and government shutdowns, rattled economic confidence and brought serious scrutiny from an international community questioning Washington’s ability to govern.

So, when an arsonist doesn’t burn down the House [sic] do you praise him for self-restraint or just go about your business because, you know, you’re not supposed to burn things down?  I say you praise.  I mean, as an arsonist, he’s conditioned to being destructive.

I give Speaker Boehner credit for standing up to those who would take an economically dangerous, ideological stand, motivated by narrow self-interest at great risk to the many.

Now, is this evidence that the DC fever that’s blocked compromise and fed dysfunction is breaking…that someone’s found the key to unlock the gridlock?  Surely not in any big way, and both this and the recent bipartisan budget deal were born less out of the urge to compromise with the opposition than to avoid hurting your own brand.

But the long journey begins with a step in the right direction as this is surely such a step.

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6 comments in reply to "Fever Breaking? Clean Debt Ceiling Bill Passes House"

  1. doverby says:

    I don’t think this is the beginning of an Age of Compromise or anything like that (especially since only a fraction of Republicans felt okay voting for something fiscally responsible). I do think, however, that the days of using the debt ceiling as an extortion tool are over.


  2. Dave says:

    Let me put this plainly from my perspective:

    It is clear now that the Koch brothers do not completely own the Republican party and the Speaker of the House. They own it enough to destroy the country it piece by piece but not in one fell swoop of economic destruction.

    Yes, praise Boehner for his courage to stand up to the real power center of the Republican party.


    • Robert Buttons says:

      Reductio ad Kochum?


      • Dave says:

        It is an accurate method more often than people realize. They’re the ringleaders. Even when you track down another billionaire as the source of some corruption, such as in the PBS WNET funding controversy, you find a Koch foundation at the soliciting center of the issue.

        Smoke and mirrors all over the place. Trace back the rays and you almost always find 2 people.


  3. smith says:

    I was looking for more background and analysis on the deb limit lifting and perusing http://realclearpolictics.com came across this take on unemployment (admittedly kind of off topic here). http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-11/the-secret-to-shortening-long-term-unemployment.html To make relevant I’ll say no debt limit crisis allows room for other topics to have breathing room, like unemployment. This had been the great victory of the right and rich, to control the debate, the agenda, and framing for so long, in part by always going on the offensive, by having an effective more extreme element wag the dog, by shifting everything right. Obama’s centrist bipartisan Clintonesque proclivity played right into that trap.

    Regarding the bloomberg article, relevant to this blog, notes on at-will employment in other countries point out the hazards and history of impinging this notable feature of the American labor market. At the same time, unrelated to that feature the survey of other country’s programs counter unemployment offer background and ideas from Europe that should or could be implemented here.

    Back to the debt ceiling, cynically, one should point out Boehner and a majority of Republicans may have figured out a fight would cost them more votes next November, so it’s better to let this pass. That means many no votes were just for political expediency, and a majority of Republican congressman appreciated the speakers tact and strategic thinking in letting the bill pass in exactly the way it did (meaning he was clever, not brave).

    What took Obama so long to learn how to do this? Lack of experience.


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