Whatever Reid Passes Will Be Irrelevant

A conservative Republican named John Boehner -- the Speaker of the House -- could barely blitz a deal through the tea party blockade and their Republican hostages in the House. What kind of bill from Harry Reid, the mealy swishy "liberal" Democratic senator, could ever be taken up by the House and successfully attain enough votes for passage, given the opposite-day political strategy of the Republicans? I imagine there's 200 "no" votes just because it came from Harry Reid's office, irrespective of content.

Put another way, let's just say Reid has the votes in the Senate and a debt bill is passed through that chamber. The odds are extraordinarily slim that the same bill would make it through the House. Nancy Pelosi would would have to cajole a shitload of House Republicans and some Democrats (Reid's bill is also quite conservative) in order to make it happen.

Yes, I'm pretty hopeless at this point. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

All that's left right now is for the president to be the hero and employ the 14th Amendment justification and raise the goddamn debt ceiling. And it needs to be done before our credit rating is dropped, which could happen even if there is a deal before Tuesday at midnight.

This is the only solution that could avoid economic catastrophe. If they pass a deal and raise the debt limit, there's going to be an economic downturn thanks to the negative impact of austerity. Two things need to happen: the debt ceiling needs to be raised, and spending cuts have to be avoided.

But first the president has to step up and put an end to all of this before it's too late. Harry Reid and John Boehner surely won't.

  • MarshallLucky

    The 14th Amendment? Why would the President, who has actively encouraged this escalating spiral of insanity for his own political gain (rope-a-dope strategy, anyone?) risk a possible impeachment fiasco going into his re-election bid by making the kind of bold, unilateral move he has never been willing to make before? And if he does do it, or the answer magically pops up at the eleventh hour, can we please hold off on the cheering long enough to ask these questions:

    Why the flying fuck was it necessary for this to go this far? What exactly has this accomplished? And why should any citizen of the United States trust the federal government to do anything, ever again?

  • mrbrink

    I don’t think the 14th Amendment gives the president the authority to just go it alone.

    I think the 14th amendment implies that by doing this, instigating default on the full faith and credit of the United States, House Republicans are in clear violation of the constitution, and therefore could/should be placed under arrest at once under Article 1 Section 6.

    There must be consequences.

    I think in the end, there will be a clean vote to raise the debt ceiling, or like Ashby believes, “the McConnell escape-hatch measure which transfers authority to the president.”

  • Chachizel

    What’s really crazy is that if we don’t strike a deal and default, the US will still face legal action for bills that don’t get paid. I’m sure they’ll take care of the troops and social security, but this is just a disaster all the way around. I personally think that President Obama will look like a hero to the American people if he grabs hold of his balls and just uses the 14th amendment. I thought the right wing nut jobs liked to see balls and guts.

  • mike

    and what if Obama doesn’t use that option? he’s already said (through Treasury), that he would not. then what?

    • ranger11

      We all die painful deaths.

  • Ipecac

    I agree that this is probably our only hope at this time.

    I would also bet good money that if Obama uses the 14th Amendment option, the House will finally have their long-sought reason to impeach him. The right-wing media will go absolutely ape-shit and the House will cause heads to spin with how fast they’ll start impeachment proceedings. Even though the President will just have averted a financial calamity.

    • Razor

      If the Republican Party impeaches the only two Democratic presidents in a generation, they should become the laughingstock of the planet. I wish I wasn’t so cynical, but they’d probably still get away with it.

  • Julie B.

    I gotta say- the political news this summer, combined with the fact that I am living through a historic drought right smack in the middle of Texas is making for one hell of a depressing summer. I think I Twittered myself into digestive backlash.

    This particular bit of news isn’t really a surprise. The sad part is, both Reid and Boehner are wimps in their own right. But why don’t the Senate Democrats make as much racket as House Republicans? I still love that Rachel Maddow called the House Republicans “the drunk kids at the other end of the building”.

    At any rate, Republicans in both houses and outside of DC are in this for one thing and one thing only- get that bad black man out of the white house. I guarantee if Barack Obama was white and his name Fred, none of this would be happening.

  • Kari Hope

    Why can’t we have a clean bill then deal with that other shit later? Is it all because there’s an election coming up? Who the hell puts these idiots in office? Never mind.

  • JMAshby

    I still believe we’re headed for the McConnell escape-hatch measure which transfers authority to the president.

    The reason I think Republicans could go with that is because they can then blame him for it. Unfortunately for them though, I don’t think anyone gives a shit.

  • nicole

    It probably won’t even make it through the Senate.

    It has ZERO chance to make it through the House, due to the fact that the Republicans did their usual spiteful horseshit maneuvering last night, and the bill will be voted on under a procedure termed “suspension of rules”, which means that they would need a 2/3 majority to pass it through the freaking House.

    Forget it. Boehner’s bill is dead, and Reid’s is dead, and they all damn well know it.

    Adding……..good discussion of the 14th A. here.

    Also, too, last night Boehner added a requirement (to his bonehead plan prior to taking a vote, because he still couldn’t get the teabagger buffoons to vote his way) that a balanced budget amendment be added to the Constitution before any more debt ceiling increases are passed. As if.

  • dildenusa

    This is political dynamite. The 14th Amendment
    passed in July 1868 had to do with debts incurred during the Civil War. at the time congress had to authorize indebedness with separate bills each time. The debt ceiling law passed in 1917 was for borrowing to finance mobilization for World War 1. Instead of separate bills, congress simply raised the amount that could be borrowed. I don’t know exactly what the Second Liberty Bond Act says but I’m sure that the tea partiers are foaming at the mouth for the president to use the 14th Amendment.