Congress

Senate GOP Pledges Future Debt Ceiling Fights

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Although House Republicans agreed and voted to endorse earmarks in congressional spending bills which they can use to benefit their own home towns and districts, Senate Republicans have now voted against earmarks.

But that's not all they voted for. Senate Republicans have also endorsed a policy that any future increases of the national debt ceiling must offset by spending cuts.

"After our discussion this week and last week, it was clear folks weren't there" on reversing the ban, said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). "I certainly hope that every member of the Republican Conference complies with what the rules say." [...]

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) called the debt ceiling language "aspirational." Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the top Republican appropriator in the upper chamber, said it’s “a statement which we all believe in.”

“It's a good statement — probably meaningless — but it's a good statement,” he said.

This isn't necessarily "meaningless."

Sure -- at the end of the day, Republicans probably won't push us over a fiscal cliff and trigger a default on our national debt. They did not so under President Obama, but that doesn't mean there was no damage done; it doesn't mean they can't do more damage in the future.

The Republican party's debt ceiling brinkmanship derailed virtually every spending policy during the six years that Republicans controlled Congress under President Obama and their new pledge tells us they will do the same thing again under President Biden if they regain control of Congress. They could push every mandatory government funding bill to the final hour or even trigger more government shutdowns.

There is no cure for the Republican party's permanent fiscal derangement in which deficit-financed tax cuts for the rich are fine, but we can't spend money on food, health care, and infrastructure. They are utterly hopeless.

We can't let them regain control of Congress. Not even partial control of one chamber.