GOP Leadership on Debt Ceiling, more Whelp than Whale
In the first months of 2013, Speaker Boehner pushed off a fight on the debt ceiling, saying the fall’s Continuing Resolution would be where a major budget battle would take place. In late August, that statement changed, and he promised a “whale of a fight” over the debt ceiling. More recently, he wrote an op-ed calling on the President to work with Republicans on a debt ceiling deal to reduce America’s enormous deficits.
The Speaker has shown he can’t be trusted when negotiating anything right of exactly centrist. House Majority Leader Cantor’s agenda for the next two months leave little doubt that conservative concerns are not shared by House Leadership (emphasis added):
The administration announced that it expects to run out of borrowing authority by mid-October. While we do not know the precise date of when that authority will lapse, the House will act to prevent a default on our obligations before that point. Over the past three decades during times of divided government, increases in the debt limit have been accompanied by major spending, fiscal, and regulatory reforms and I expect that model to play out once again. Gramm-Rudman, the Congressional Review Act, and the Budget Control Act all were enacted on previous increases of the debt limit. Therefore, House Republicans will demand fiscal reforms and pro-growth policies which put us on a path to balance in ten years in exchange for another increase in the debt limit.
Once again, Republican elites refuse to hold the line against runaway spending. Real leadership would keep the debt ceiling stable and cut spending appropriately. Mediocre leadership would propose raising the debt ceiling in exchange for real cuts. Poor leadership sets a vague goal of getting “to balance in ten years.” Currently, GOP leadership is searching for ways to fund Obamacare and reverse the sequester.
Excuse me, Republican Establishment? What would you say you do here?