How Mitch McConnell Is F**king Over America Today, Debt Limit Edition
Those wacky sociopaths that we charitably call “Republicans" are at it again. Monday, the Senate GOP blocked a funding bill that would prevent the US government from defaulting on its debts like Johnny Depp after he bought too many private islands. The blocked bill would've also provided billions of dollars in much-needed hurricane relief.
The Washington Post somewhat maddeningly described the GOP's disgraceful actions as "part of the party's renewed campaign to undermine President Biden's broader economic agenda," but the GOP isn't the Legion of Doom (at least not officially). Republicans supposedly have a constitutional obligation to prioritize the health of the nation over their own political objectives, almost all of which are evil.
Democrats control the Senate whenever Joe Manchin allows, so Republicans are only able to put a wrecking ball through the nation's economy because of that darn filibuster. It's a big device labeled BOMB that Democrats won't defuse because maybe some day they'll need a bomb. However, Democrats aren't deranged and would never hold the nation hostage this way. They'd wind up using the BOMB as a paper weight.
The GOP's expected opposition is sure to deal a death blow to the measure, which had passed the House last week, and threatens to add to the pressure on Democrats to devise their own path forward ahead of a series of urgent fiscal deadlines. A failure to address the issues could cause severe financial calamity, the White House has warned, potentially plunging the United States into another recession.
I'm not sure why the White House is threatening the GOP with a good time. Republicans would love it if a self-inflicted recession hammered the US. They would blame Democrats while painting Joe Biden as another Jimmy Carter. The mainstream media, unfortunately, suffers from the same condition as the guy from Memento so would somehow forget that Republicans are solely to blame. It's hardly shocking behavior from the same party that enabled and covered up an insurrection against the US government.
McConnell has declared that if Democrats want to "spend historic sums of money without our input" (the first infrastructure bill has, supposedly, bipartisan support), then Democrats will have to raise the debt limit without Republicans' “help." But Republicans are actively sabotaging Democrats by preventing them from passing the measure without them. Seriously, maybe we shouldn't let these guys keep that BOMB.
As an alternative, Senate Democrats could just get rid of the filibuster. https://t.co/pectqXeBHl— Michael Li 李之樸 (@Michael Li 李之樸) 1632696427.0
The spending measure failed 48 to 50 (Chuck Schumer voted no so he could bring it up again; Ben Sasse and Dianne Feinstein were missing), which is not how math should work in a democracy. It would've taken just 10 responsible Republicans to break the filibuster and let the measure pass. They wouldn't have to actually vote on it if they're concerned about associating their distinguished reputations with Democrats' supposed reckless spending. (That's all bullshit, because the current debt we're facing was mostly accumulated under Donald Trump.) Republicans just want to screw Biden, and despite the recent bipartisan humping over the first infrastructure bill, Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema couldn't convince a single one of their new best Republican friends to do the right thing.
According to Axios, Democrats have a "Plan B": They spent the past week preparing a “clean" continuing resolution that contains no language about raising the debt limit. Unfortunately, this means they'll have to attach legislation increasing the debt ceiling in the reconciliation package. Maybe that's good news because it'll force Manchin to get fully on board passing the reconciliation bill sooner rather than later, when the country's credit is no longer eligible for a Discover card.
Alas, CNN's Manu Raju reports that Manchin's still dragging his coal-stained feet.
New - Manchin tells us push by Dem leaders to get Thursday deal on reconciliation is a “heavy lift. … There’s a lot… https://t.co/AwNz1Gw3VB— Manu Raju (@Manu Raju) 1632762580.0
Manchin claims that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate
Minority Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's push to finalize a reconciliation deal by Thursday is a “heavy lift." Apparently, he thinks “there's a lot to do ... and people need to know what's in it, so it's going to take a while." It sounds like he's stalling, as if Mitch McConnell sent him to distract the security guard while the GOP cleans out the safe.
"What's the need? There is no timeline. I want to understand it," Manchin said in an interview on Thursday as he walked to his office. "I don't think anything runs out. Right now, we've got good nutrition for children, a lot of things are covered right now clear [into] next year."
“There is no timeline" lacks the same inspiring zen appeal of “There is no spoon" from The Matrix. Manchin will keep playing dumb until democracy's dying day.
It won't help matters to remind Republicans that we only have this debt limit drama when a Democrat is president. You can't “shame" Republicans, who are incapable of this curious human emotion. You can only defeat them completely.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."