Senate Republican leader blocks debt limit vote

Comments (46)
Mott wrote:

So the drama begins.. once more.

Dec 06, 2012 1:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

“to give Democratic President Barack Obama unilateral power”

That in itself is a very good reason to stop it no matter what it’s for.

No debt limit by decree of the President?

Wonder how that would have gone over under President Bush?

Dec 06, 2012 1:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Now we’re talking. Not allowing a vote. I know they employ this with increasing frequency, but what is the point of that again? If the proposal is so stupid, why not have the vote and vote it down? Put it to rest, no?

It’s kind of like an incumbent cancelling an election because you don’t like how the polls are leaning. These maneuvers are why the republicans are viewed so negatively in the broader public.

Dec 06, 2012 1:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:

To quote the article ‘Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brought the measure to the floor for consideration at the request of McConnell. But McConnell refused to permit a vote after Reid said it could pass with 51 votes in the 100-member Senate. McConnell demanded 60 votes needed for passage.’

So in other Words Mr. McConnell asked Mr. Reid to bring it to the floor, but then he blocks it from having a vote. so why request to bring it to the floor unless you just playing political games? These people spend so much time on ‘vacation’, why waste their precious time with stuff like this?

Dec 06, 2012 1:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

“why not have the vote and vote it down?”

Because these jerks can’t even decide if the need 51 or 60 votes to pass it.

Did you think it is a good idea to give not only this President but all future Presidents the unilateral authority to keep borrowing and printing money with no way to vote against it?

Dec 06, 2012 2:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

Of course. Let’s bungle through another debt ceiling debacle, hold the American economy hostage again, and again have our credit rating lowered. Maybe this time Republicans will succeed at getting the interest we pay on debt raised so that our debt costs us even more than it already does. The GOP loves spending tax payers’ money, as long as they’re not spending it on the tax payers. So paying more in interest works. Then they can blame Obama and make the argument that we need to cut spending now more than ever because “Obama” made the interest rates go up. Anything except what is best for the American people, and the truth.

Dec 06, 2012 2:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
moderate1234 wrote:

Speaking of debt, do we have any plan in place to ever pay back the trillions that we owe? Didn’t think so.

Dec 06, 2012 2:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WayneBrady wrote:

Harry079,

Let’s get some facts straight. Congress is the one who has the power and authority to spend and borrow money. This bill does not in any way take that power away nor give the president the ability to do so. The debt limit is something our country handicap itself with (just like this fiscal cliff thing). Basically Congress will approve a budget and has a legal obligation to borrow money to pay for that budget. The debt limit forces Congress to then vote to be able to borrow that money. Does that make any sense? It’s not supposed to because no other country has this stupid rule. And politicians (cough) have used the debt limit as a bargaining chip in negotiations by threatening to default on our obligations (that Congress passed).

This measure simply takes that authority away from Congress so they can’t use it as a bargaining tool. A better measure would be to simply abolish the debt limit altogether in my opinion.

Dec 06, 2012 2:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Timbuk3 wrote:

@Harry079
“Wonder how that would have gone over under President Bush? ”

Really you’re asking this?
Because congress was given a straight up or down vote on the debt ceiling extension all seven times for Bush and all eighteen times for Reagan and every single time the vote passed with no attachment to tax policy or budget cuts. He never needed unitlateral approval because he was always given it. Maybe it was to continue funding for the war he started? Either way, he was essentially given what the congress no longer wants to give.

It’s like stealing the checkbook from your spouse to control spending and now you haven’t paid your mortgage and your credit rating suffers and now your credit card interests all raise.
1) Pay your obligations
2) Congress, please be adults and make the hard spending and tax decisions independent of the debt ceiling.
3) The president doesn’t control spending, he signs what the congress sends him.

Dec 06, 2012 2:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
PortlandME wrote:

Harry079…One question, do you actually believe the comments you submit? Another question, do you actually know what the debt limit means? Since Congress appropriated the money and the federal agencies spent the money on goods/services, the debt limit means the govt. is honoring the bills it racked up. So, like any responsible person, the President wants to pay the bills of the country. He, more importantly, does not want the nation to default on its debt obligations. How in heavens name can this be bad? As a former small federal government contractor, I wanted the govt. to honor the agreement we signed since I was providing it a service. I wanted to get paid.

Next time, Google key words and concepts in the article so that you will understand what you are talking about. Otherwise, you leave yourself open to us thinking that you are a complete idiot.

Dec 06, 2012 2:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

Harry079: As WayneBrady correctly points out, the only thing this would do is prevent those who serve in Congress, who shouldn’t be serving in Congress, from trying to play games with our nation’s economy. Congress will still control the purse strings. They don’t have to increase spending just because the debt ceiling has been raised.

You can’t lower the deficit by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. That will only increase the cost of our debt, raising the deficit, except it will increase the outflow of our tax revenue without anything to show for it. It will also serve to threaten the dollar as the primary international currency, not to mention deliver another blow to the US’s credibility, something I think the Republicans are beginning to relish. It’s really stupid and irresponsible to play games with the debt ceiling, something that flies right over the heads of the TeaLobbiers.

Dec 06, 2012 2:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ralphooo wrote:

Good that you reported this.

Dec 06, 2012 2:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ralphooo wrote:

Good that you reported this.

Dec 06, 2012 2:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:

@Harry079, I was not arguing for or against the aspects of the proposal, personally it seems like a scary proposition to me, but I understand why Obama is doing it; 1. congress is not acting responsibly, 2. More of a bargaining point than anything else.

My point was what McConnell was doing was simply a childish waste of time.

Dec 06, 2012 3:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Stickystones wrote:

The debt ceiling limit at this point is a distraction from the main issue of revenue and spending. This supposed vote and the one before it that Harry wouldn’t allow is just posturing, somewhat like when Obama campaigns right after he wins the Presidency. If they can agree on a budget the debt ceiling won’t be an issue. The problem is if they don’t agree on budgeting, then by February or early March the debt ceiling issue will be front and center. Then you can really worry about the future solvency of the US.

Dec 06, 2012 3:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Harry, like I said. If the proposal is so lame, why not give it a vote and kill it? What’s McConnell afraid of?

Dec 06, 2012 3:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fromthecenter wrote:

The rest of the world is watching and saying ‘so this is the democracy that you want to spread?’

Dec 06, 2012 3:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bemore2day wrote:

The term “Debt Limit” is misleading.

What most people don’t realize is that “increasing” the debt limit is in fact simply agreeing to pay our bills…those “bills” being, monies that congress has ALREADY APPROVED to be spent. It is a simple procedural matter that (until last year) has never been used for political gain.

Allowing the president to approve the debt limit would just let him put a stamp of approval on financial commitments we (the U.S. Legislature) have already made.

Dec 06, 2012 4:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sylvan wrote:

McConnell should be arrested for treason. He is a vile, deranged old gray face man. Obama should just claim war time need for money and raise the debt ceiling about $50 trillion and stop the pathetic GOPer stunts. McConnell is obviously still trying to wreck the economy because he is vindicative. Such adolescent pathetic crap, constantly and continually from the Gross Old Party.
What a bunch of sickos.

Dec 06, 2012 5:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
amsterdamaged wrote:

Protect the 1% at any cost, and screw the middle class at every opportunity.

Dec 06, 2012 5:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Gigimoderate wrote:

McConnell asks Reid to bring a measure to the floor for a vote….Reid says OK I will, it will pass with 51 votes! McConnell says Oh never mind then, I don’t want to pass anything!

Dec 06, 2012 5:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

Okay when was the last time that both the House and Senate passed a budget and the President signed it??????

When they cut SS checks by 30% and butcher Medi-care come talk to me about committments these jerks have made.

Dec 06, 2012 7:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

“You can’t lower the deficit by refusing to raise the debt ceiling”

So you have to borrow the money to lower the deficit?

And you people think I’m nuts?

Hahahahahaa

Dec 06, 2012 7:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xit007 wrote:

Gee – Do any of you understand debt. The insanity of believing that everything the government spends is necessary. All the BS going around about how much debt we can take on yada yada – and it’s necessary.
Will the MArxist hacks please get off the blog – you know who you are.
Can you stop with the blaming – as if the political party affiliation mattered. The world couldn’t give two cents about our politics – what matters is we stop the spending. the money the government has pissed away could put this country in surplus. It has always taken two parties to do the damage – what a bunch of partisan whiners……get a life or a solution but please stop the whining….if you on the blog every day all day – get a job. the high schoolers don;t get off till 3 pm so give it a break so real ideas from people who care and who are engaged in our economy – can offer something more than the dribble … offered here.

Dec 06, 2012 7:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

WayneBrady

Please show me the bill and vote that Congress passed that allows the Treasury/Federal Reserve to buy 80 billion a month in Mortgage Securities.

Dec 06, 2012 7:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

McConnell got his bluff called. Not the first time.

Dec 06, 2012 7:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

Please, all practical Democrats call your Senators and your Congress and tell them to not allow this to go through. You do not want a Republican President to have this power. No one person should ever have that power over the US economy.

Dec 06, 2012 8:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@flashrooster

Would you have preferred that Bush been given the power to bypass the votes in the Congress and Senate and raise the debt limit any time he wanted. We wouldn’t have had the chance to hear this from Senator Obama:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a Sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. …Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here’. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and Grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

Dec 06, 2012 8:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@bemore2day

Umm No. You are completely wrong. The government is spending 1.1 trillion more than they make. Not raising the debt limit any further will make them cut 1.1 trillion in spending. They will then have to choose who they pay. We paid $400 billion in interest charges alone last year. That is your tax dollars wasted because Bush and Obama are the two worst Presidents in the history of the country when it comes to deficit spending.

Not raising the debt limit forces a balanced budget, that is the biggest threat to any Democrat in office. Giving Obama, the worst fiscal disaster to ever hit this country a credit card with no limit will cause our credit rating to drop immediately. We will join Greece before he leaves office if this happens.

Dec 06, 2012 8:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@AlkalineState

“McConnell got his bluff called. Not the first time.”

This is 100% true. Democrats and Republicans are still playing political games while the country heads face first into financial ruin.

Dec 06, 2012 8:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

TheNewWorld….the President (any president) can not spend 1 dime of tax payer money without Congressional approval……that is a Constitutional fact, The following quote is from page 4 of Republican Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” version 3.0 2013. Which is the House Republicans Budget proposal for 2013.

“STATEMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL AUTHORITY

Article I of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to appropriate funds from the Treasury, pay the obligations of and raise revenue for the federal government, and publish statements and accounts of all financial transactions.

In addition, the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974 requires Congress to write a budget each year representing its plan to carry out these transactions in the forthcoming fiscal years. While the President is required to propose his administration’s budget requests for Congress’s consideration, Congress alone is responsible for writing the laws that raise revenues, appropriate funds, and prioritize taxpayer dollars within an overall federal budget.”

Dec 07, 2012 1:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brought the measure to the floor for consideration at the request of McConnell. But McConnell refused to permit a vote after Reid said it could pass with 51 votes in the 100-member Senate. McConnell demanded 60 votes needed for passage”

So, McConnell wanted a simple majority vote, then did the maths and realised he would probably lose it, and then decided he didn’t want a simple majority vote.

It is funny, the way Republicans are so scared of democracy…

Harry079 wrote:
“So you have to borrow the money to lower the deficit?

And you people think I’m nuts?

Hahahahahaa”

Yes, because you and the rest of the wing-nuts clearly don’t know what a debt-limit is.

Let me educate you.

Spending is decided in Congress. They vote to approve spending, or block it. Notice how ‘debt-limit’ has nothing to do with spending? Now, in every other industrialised nation, when the government approves spending, that is taken as a vote to approve making the money available to spend. In sensible countries, if you don’t want to spend the money you don’t approve the bill.

Only in the USA does a vote to spend money then have to be followed by a second vote to make the money available to spend. And only Republicans vote to approve spending but then vote against financing the bill they passed…

Dec 07, 2012 2:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
AZreb wrote:

No ONE person should have the power to raise the debt limit! We have seen the limit riased and raised and raised – how high could it go? And how would we, the taxpayers, pay for it? Actually, we wouldn’t in the long run – our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be shouldering the debt we take on now.

Dec 07, 2012 6:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

AZreb wrote:
“No ONE person should have the power to raise the debt limit!”

Why should it be an issue at all? If Congress vote to spend money, then they have also voted to raise the debt limit to finance it.

What Republicans are doing right now is saying “yes” to spending, and then doing a u-turn to say “no, we won’t agree to raising the debt limit to cover spending we agreed to earlier”. How stupid can they get?

No other industrialised country has this ridiculous system.

Dec 07, 2012 7:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

@Abulafiah

Tell me WHEN was the last time Congress passed a budget(spending bill) and the President signed it.

The country has been running off of CONTIUING RESOLUTIONS. Which means the just keep voting to contiue spending whatever they want.

So you can tell me what the vote was for QE1, QE2 and Operation Twist right.

Dec 07, 2012 9:31am EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

@Harry079

Do you really think Obama invented continuing resolutions? GWB had 41 of them, and 21 of those were in his first year in office. In contrast, Obama has had 15 in his first four years in office, but I guess Fox forgot to mention that.

What is really funny though… how do think a continuing resolution gets passed, if not by Congress? Please tell us how you imagine it happens.

You are completely missing the point though.

Tell me, if Congress approves, say, the development of a new tank, is it reasonable – in your opinion – for the same Congress to then refuse to fund it? A simple yes or no answer will do.

In any other developed country, approving the development of a new tank is automatically approving the funding. This avoids the sort of childish games Republicans are playing, and Obama is entirely right in trying to bring the USA into line with rest of the developed world.

Dec 07, 2012 10:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

I’m not pinning all this on Obama never did.

They have ALL overspent.

Before we decide to develope and build a new tank we should have the money to pay for it.

But with our ability to borrow with apparently no limits there is no incentive to get spending under control.

Dec 07, 2012 11:35am EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

Using your tank example let’s look at the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Congress approved and paid for the developement of this new fighter jet. The estimated cost per plane in 2007 was at $40 to $65 million a piece depending on the variant.

Here is the 2012 cost per plane now that they are being delivered.

F-35A $172 Million
F-35B $290 Million
F-35C $235 Million

Dec 07, 2012 12:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bemore2day wrote:

@TheNewWorld wrote:

@bemore2day “Umm No. You are completely wrong.” Etc, etc, etc….

NO, I’m sorry but it is you that is wrong TheNewWorld.

“”A vote to increase the debt ceiling is, therefore, usually treated as a formality, needed to continue spending that has already been approved previously by the Congress and the President. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) explains: “The debt limit does not control or limit the ability of the federal government to run deficits or incur obligations. Rather, it is a limit on the ability to pay obligations already incurred.” The apparent redundancy of the debt ceiling has led to suggestions that it should be abolished altogether.””

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt)

Dec 07, 2012 1:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

“The debt limit does not control or limit the ability of the federal government to run deficits or incur obligations”

“it is a limit on the ability to pay obligations already incurred.”

So what happens IF the debt limit is not raised?

Secretary Geitner raids the Pension Funds of Federal Employees like he did last year. That gives him about 200 billion to play with. We spend about 9-10 billion a day.

Then what?

Since we are borrowing 46 cents out of every dollar spent what will Congress and the President do cut everything 46%?

Dec 07, 2012 3:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

Just to get a little perspective if you taped 16 Trillion one dollar bills together you would have a roll of dollars long enough to go back and forth to the Sun 8 TIMES or 1,515,151,515 miles.

Dec 07, 2012 4:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

@Harry079

You seem to be missing the point, or maybe deliberately avoiding it.

In my world, if Congress thinks they can’t afford to develop at new, then they vote against developing a new tank. In my world, to say “yes” to developing a new tank, but then say “no” to paying for the development they said “yes” to is just stupid. This is why no other developed country allows it.

You seem to approve of Congress doing that, and I am asking you to justify it.

Dec 08, 2012 3:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

You want ME to “justify” what 535 idiots of Congress do?

No way pal.

We elect these morons to what’s in the best interest of the people but the majority do what is in their own best interest.

We have become what our forefathers fought and died to change. Our sons and daughters are just fodder for the canons of wars of far away lands that we never really defeat just to keep the business of war alive.

The Constitution has become just words on a piece of paper that us Serfs line up to look at in a building in a city that our Lords and Nobles rule over us from.

Dec 08, 2012 12:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

@Harry079

No… I am asking you to justify your support for a Congress that votes to spend money, and them opposes funding the spending they voted for. I am asking you justify your support for Republicans raising the debt limit to pay for things they already approved.

You seem to be doing your best to avoiding justifying your own statements.

Dec 08, 2012 11:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

*not raising the debt limit

Dec 09, 2012 1:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

“I am asking you to justify your support for a Congress that votes to spend money”

I’ll make it easy for you. I DON’T support them.

Dec 10, 2012 11:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.