Another debt ceiling debate
Editors Baltimore Times | 9/20/2013, 5:24 a.m.
This is growing tiresome. The end of the federal fiscal year (September 30) always entails a messy political battle of some kind in Congress. Usually, it’s Democrat versus Republican or House versus Senate or Congress versus the White House. This year it’s House Republican versus House Republican.
Congress has once again failed to do its work by passing a budget on time, a series of continuing resolutions are needed to keep the government running.
The tea party-influenced wing of the House GOP wants to use this opportunity to defund Obamacare. However, since neither President Barack Obama nor Senate Democrats would go along with this, Republicans risk shutting down all or parts of the government. GOP leaders have seen the polls and the American people do not want a shut down.
Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor would prefer to wait until month’s end, when Congress must vote to raise the debt ceiling and then allow inaction to cause the government to begin defaulting on its debts, which would force Democrats to discuss cutting their dearly loved entitlements. That is a risky move.
Obama and Senate Democratic leaders say they will not negotiate over the debt limit and have begun making the argument that failing to raise it is unconstitutional and that Congress’ permission might not even be necessary.
Boehner needs to reign in the members of his party influenced by the tea party and think about what’s in the best financial interest of the country.