The Leverage

Republicans are now talking about raising the debt ceiling, but just for a month or two. That would open up a number of key Fiscal Cliff 2 questions.

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Mary F. Calvert / Reuters

The U.S. Capitol building is pictured as lawmakers return from the Christmas recess in Washington December 27, 2012. Efforts to prevent the U.S. economy from going over a "fiscal cliff" stirred back to life with less than a week to go before potentially disastrous tax hikes and spending cuts kick in at the New Year.

Republicans are now talking about raising the debt ceiling, but just for a month or two. That would open up a number of key Fiscal Cliff 2 questions:

  1. Would the President accept that, given his hard-line stance on not messing with the limit in a way that markets and credit agencies might not like?
  2. Would Republicans agree to (or try to…) again also put off the sequester spending cuts, to keep them in sync with the debt ceiling expiration, and keep what some see as the GOP’s main point of leverage alive?
  3. Would a vote putting off the debt ceiling breach that drew a lot of votes from House Republicans build momentum for further compromise with the White House — or make conservatives feel like they gave at the office already?

Right now, the most important dynamic in the fiscal cliff fight is the advantages the Democrats have: the President is more popular than congressional Republicans; Democrats are more united than Republicans on strategy and tactics; and the President is about to have unmatchable platforms with the inauguration and State of the Union.

My current hunch is that the immigration negotiations are going to help the White House in the cliff talks and guns aren’t going to be as big a gear jammer as some are saying.

17 comments
grape_crush
grape_crush

> Republicans are now talking about raising the debt ceiling, but just for a month or two.

Masochists who want to prolong their own agony. The longer those anonymous GOPers put off having to compromise their prinicples, the worse and weaker they look to everyone else.

> That would open up a number of key Fiscal Cliff 2 questions

It shouldn't. My hunch is that everyone outside of the fringe right of the Republican party is about done with manufactured crises that do nothing but consume ink, oxygen, and time while promoting anxiety on both Main and Wall streets.

bobcn
bobcn

It's always the same with this gop.  Nothing but political maneuvering for power.  Whether their schemes are good for America never seems to concern them.  When push comes to shove, they always choose their own benefit over that of the citizenry.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

For all the GOP bellyaching about how "market insecurity" is hindering economic growth, they sure do use every chance they get to make the markets feel less secure.

A 2-month extension of the Debt Ceiling is akin to hitting the snooze button on moving forward. And, well all know how rested we feel after hitting the snooze button for an hour in the morning...

P.S. Thanks for posting here, Mark. You're being kind of a...nice guy! ;)

AfGuy
AfGuy

Have been hearing from my middle son in the Air Force at the base in Shreveport, LA.

The kids down there are freaking out. Rumors are flying  that, if the military budget is cut, thousands of the younger enlistees will be  forced out where there are no jobs. They are scared to death!!

I've reminded them on more than one occasion to read for themselves, from multiple sources, what's going on.... and I've reminded them that there are people out there paid handsome sums to make sure they stay frightened with mis-information like they are hearing now.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

Here's one more big question that will affect all House business going forward:

4. Will John Boehner cut loose the Tea Party caucus and move the nation's business forward (especially giving confidence to the markets) with a combination of saner Republican and Democratic votes?

fitty_three
fitty_three

Finally! A Halperin blog that accepts comments!

Okay, here's all my pent up bloviation:

Nice example of candor, MH.  Is it maybe the prospect of getting intellectually ripped from throat to navel that made you decide to approach it this way?

jmac
jmac

John Corny, the half sane Senator from my state, has listened to Koch and proclaimed, "We will raise the debt ceiling."  David Brooks today is crying that the Democrats are planning to take over the House by showing the insanity of the Republicans in the House.  He'd better count his blessing.  The other half of the Texas Senate reps - Cruz - has already invaded the Upper Chamber to hold hands with Rand Paul.   Brooks might have more to cry about in the future than just House Republicans and evil Democrats showing how insane they are.  

MrObvious
MrObvious

Let me know when GOP gets serious about doing what they were hired to do; you know legislate. And saying NO all the time and ensuring as many as possible get a poke in their eye isn't their job.


What a worthless bunch.

outsider
outsider

wow, comments!


I think the GOP will try to extort Obama again, but i think Obama will stand stronger this time. It's just how i feel/hope. I have nothing to back it up beyond his stance lately towards the GOP

MarshaMcBlaine
MarshaMcBlaine

@kbanginmotown  If you don't have control on the debt and cut spending how do you meet the government obligation.  What does the country do when they don't pay the bills.

AlistairCookie
AlistairCookie

@kbanginmotown It's how Reps operate anymore (IMHO).  It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Like undermining the legislative strength of bills, and underfunding government programs, and then bellyaching about how the government doesn't work and this or that program doesn't work.  

Or behaving in the most dysfunctional way possible and complaining that the government is dysfunctional.  Sigh. 

AfGuy
AfGuy

Someone needs to remind John Cornyn that his "bluffs" regarding a threat of default have an effect on more than just his "negotiating partners".

For a party that says they care about the welfare and well-being of the miltiary members,they sure have a warped way of showing it.

Crap like this is what happens when our congressional reps really don't have any personal experience or connections with anyone their policies (and bluffs) are affecting.

MarshaMcBlaine
MarshaMcBlaine

@outsider2011  Do any of you smart people think maybe Obama spending is the problem and he out of control.  I think IL problems come from bad policy and could be illegal.

AfGuy
AfGuy

The media has started to ask him about his past negotiation "issues" in more press conferences these days.  I think it may be the first time he understands that his "caves" are being viewed as almost a patholigical weakness on his part, rather than the "bipartisan" sheen he would like for them to be viewed through.

Maybe a little embarrassment on his part, perhaps?

MarshaMcBlaine
MarshaMcBlaine

@shepherdwong @grape_crush  Wasn't the tea party vote in and have every right to their opinion.  I am just asking because you seen to want to take their rights away.  I am a Independent do you want to there rights away to.