Debt Limit Fight: House of Representatives Stops Saber Rattling, Starts Negotiating

It sounds like the House GOP is finally listening to somebody besides each other.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that they might actually be responding to the disgust coming at them from we the people.

In a reverse of their previous saber-rattling, they have come up with a proposal that would both raise the debt limit and (hopefully) address the deficit. Kudos to them.

Now, it’s up to President Obama. It will be interesting to see how he responds.

A New York Times article describing this situation reads in part:

In Reversal, House G.O.P. Agrees to Lift Debt Limit

WASHINGTON — Backing down from their hard-line stance, House Republicans said Friday that they would agree to lift the federal government’s statutory borrowing limit for three months, with a requirement that both chambers of Congress pass a budget in that time to clear the way for negotiations on long-term deficit reduction.

The new proposal, which came out of closed-door party negotiations at a retreat in Williamsburg, Va., seemed to significantly reduce the threat of a default by the federal government in coming weeks. The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said he was encouraged by the offer; Senate Democrats, while bristling at the demand for a budget, were also reassured and viewed it as a de-escalation of the debt fight.

The change in tack represented a retreat for House Republicans, who were increasingly isolated in their refusal to lift the debt ceiling. Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio had previously said he would raise it only if it were paired with immediate spending cuts of equivalent value. The new strategy is designed to start a more orderly negotiation with President Obama and Senate Democrats on ways to shrink the trillion-dollar deficit.

To add muscle to their efforts to bring Senate Democrats to the table, House Republicans will include a provision in the debt ceiling legislation that says lawmakers will not be paid if they do not pass a budget blueprint, though questions have been raised whether that provision is constitutional. (Read more here.)

  • Manny

    I’m sick of this caving in from the Republicans. When does Obama ever cave in? I’ll eat my hat if Obama negotiates in good faith. I am so SICK of him. And half the country is too. His ratings have actually dropped while demogoguing the gun issue. He may win something in the coming months, but he’s going to be so lame duck in a very short while, and he has built up nothing but animosity with the Republicans. I say give him nothing.

  • vox borealis

    “It sounds like the House GOP is finally listening to somebody besides each other.”

    Translation: The GOP caved again, and the drunken spending will continue unabated, not that it really matters to our permanent technocratic ruling class.

  • Theresa

    It’s not caving. It sounds more like “turning the other cheek.” I think this is exactly what is needed in de-escalating the partisan politics. No more of this each side coming to the table with long lists of non–negotiables. Hopefully, they stay strong in this track of willing to come to negotiations peacefully- that’s the only way it will work. It’s like a really really bad marriage- it isn’t going to get any better is one or both sides refuses to budge on an issue. Even if it’s a side that has done its fair share of “budging” or “caving” it is still the higher road to be willing to make that effort again. This is hopeful for me.

  • vox borealis

    It won’t work because it can’t work. Both sides are bickering over how quickly the debt will balloon and nothing else. Both sides. “cuts” are really slower rates of growth in spending. It’s all tied to feeding a leviathan state that is like nothing envisioned in the Constitution. Whether of not this or that federal project is trimmed by a few dollars is irrelevant.

    • Dave

      Ding-ding-ding. We have a winner!