‘Damn if you do, damn if you don’t’: Dems plagued by debt déjà vu

“Unfortunately we’re set up for another – actually, steeper – precipice. And that’s not my preference,” the Rep. Said. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.). While he didn’t want to set the minority party’s bidding predecessor away from meeting the debt ceiling, Slotkin agreed the reconciliation “could go where it is.”

That’s the news to most Senate Democrats unnamed Joe Manchin or Tim Kaine, two outside a room -to -room caucus who are totally opposed to dealing with debt without GOP votes by consensus. There is a growing cry to change Senate policies to hamstring the party’s minority influence to cover borrowing, which Manchin currently opposes. And the truth with the thin basics of Democrats is that while all corners of the party are worried about the next conflict, no one knows how it will play out.

Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), A centrist like Murphy, said Schumer’s message to McConnell should be simple and consistent: … It’s up to you. ”

“I’m strongly opposed to doing this in reconciliation. Stupid I guess. I think it’s bad,” Tester said in an interview last week before the debt ceiling compromise. He added that “the problem with filibuster exclusion is, for with all intents and purposes, the filibuster is feasible “if a debt engraving is created.

“And the second thing is, you still have a problem with Manchin-Cinema” getting 50 votes to change the chamber rules, Tester said, referring to Sen. Kyrsten Cinema (D-Ariz.).

Democratic leaders hate the idea of ​​using consensus for debt cover for two main reasons: because that’s what McConnell wants and because it will set a pattern for future majorities to raise the ceiling on their own. . Future Republican majorities will no doubt struggle to avoid default with only GOP votes under that predecessor, due to their party’s division on the issue.

McConnell said he would not help Democrats again in December; he barely gave 11 votes to push for raising the debt ceiling and faced major blowback within his conference for offering Schumer a last-second lifeline. That leaves Democrats without a solution to what will be their biggest problem in two short months, a headache that will correlate with their frustration to end President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda and keep it funded. of the government.

“It’s not going to be harder to solve in December. It’s not going to be easy. But we’ve fixed our priorities,” Kaine said. Virginian insists, Democrats will not allow a default.

Among House Democrats, there is some strain on being caught between Schumer and McConnell. Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not deny the use of conciliation to address the issue, and said her No. 2, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, this week he supported the idea.

Most House moderates were clear from the start about their main goal in ending the debt drama: to vote only once to end the crisis. The opposite happened.

First House Democrats passed a government funding bill that also raised the debt ceiling by midterms, which McConnell rejected. They then passed a clean ceiling increase on debt that Republicans were set on filibuster but ultimately not forced to decline.

Ultimately, House Democrats had to eat a short -term extension – and a guarantee that they would have to revisit an issue that could be reflected in midterm attack ads as Democrats sought to add another big bill to spending dealing with climate change, child care and education priorities.

“For frontliners, it’s almost a loser-losing situation that has to get that vote by the end of the year,” the retired centrist Rep. Said. Filemon Vela (D-Texas), describing the state of the debt ceiling that puts endangered Democratic incumbents. “You’ll be damned if you do, damn if you don’t.”

In the House, raising the debt ceiling can be politically difficult, but it’s relatively easy to pass – even if the party uses conciliation. The House can pass it by a simple majority under normal circumstances and avoid reaching the GOP with too much procedural action, even under the arcane rules of the budget process.

Even the most squeamish centrists will work together, in part due to a deal in late September along with Pelosi’s leadership team, who made sure they would discuss the debt issue in an upcoming vote.

But Senate Democrats should be hooked on the filibuster if the debt ceiling law is passed in regular order, giving the senator to Republicans who lack their counterparts in the House. And if Democrats use consensus, then their party’s senators will undergo a captivating debate on the floor that includes an unlimited vote-a-rama-all to set a precedent of increasing debt ceiling on party lines.

That led Democrats to change a change in policies, or even the removal of the debt ceiling altogether. As Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.): “A jerry-rigged temporary solution shows how necessary a permanent fix is.”

“There’s recognition from all Democrats that it’s different,” Sen said. Mark Warner (D-Va.) The party was gobsmacked, he added, about “the idea that you’ll also have a filibuster in something purely process.”

Manchin, however, said he cannot move to filibuster, even when it comes to the debt limit. Cinema has not told the public where he stands but has so far opposed all changes to the required 60-vote threshold for the chamber to pass most of the charges. Democrats were left short of votes to change the filibuster rules, though McConnell closely monitors the two moderates to make sure they don’t move.

In the meantime, McConnell’s only offer for Democrats is to use the next few weeks to prepare a long-term debt increase and pass it in December.

“He’s giving Democrats the time they asked for. Their only argument for not doing it through consensus is they don’t have the time, too many barriers. Now they have a lot of time,” Sen said. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

The problem? Senate Democrats have said they won’t use their newly found breathing room to work on the debt ceiling, though more House Democrats have indicated they’ll be fine with accepting McConnell.

Instead, Senate Democrats said they were committed to getting a deal on Biden’s social spending bill. But negotiators will stay away from even a topline agreement, as lawmakers do openly at war with each other more than the same size and scope of the social infrastructure package.

That could leave a second last canal of Band-Aid as the best remedy for another threat of default.

“My fear is that’s what will happen,” Sen said. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). “I hope it’s not.”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: