Congress flirts with debt cap clashes, another close encounter: reporter’s notebook

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is waiting for the Senate Bank, Housing and Urban Affairs Commission hearing to begin on November 30, 2021 at Capitol Hill.
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

If Congress’s flirtation with a debt cap conflict wasn’t the only close encounter.

“We can’t exaggerate how important it is for Congress to tackle this issue,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testified at a hearing on Tuesday at the Senate Banking Commission. “The United States has to pay the full amount on time. Otherwise, we anticipate the current recovery in a few days. The Americans are big because they don’t receive important payments such as social security checks and military checks. Many will suffer financial difficulties. Their bank accounts. And it will probably continue to be a serious recession. “

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Yellen warned Congress last month that lawmakers need to raise their debt caps until December 15.

Here’s how this works:

If the US government reaches its debt limit, the Treasury loses its ability to borrow. Yellen told Senator that the Treasury has enough cash to pay its current obligations by December 15. However, Yellen could not guarantee the liquidity of the Treasury on December 16. But Yellen wasn’t sure. Therefore, her warning of disastrous consequences if Congress does not act immediately.

The problem arises when the Democratic Party tries to approve a $ 1.75 trillion social spending bill by Christmas. In the 50/50 Senate, Democrats know they lack 60 votes to overcome filibuster and pass the bill. Republicans certainly don’t vote to crack filibuster. As a result, Democrats use a filibuster-resistant budget adjustment process to avoid the Republican threat. The Democratic Party can then approve the bill in a party vote.

Many Republicans argue that Democrats also need to use special filibuster exemption procedures to approve the increase in debt caps themselves, without the support of the Republicans. But Republicans have linked this to attempts to approve Democratic social spending packages.

“There is only one reason Democratic colleagues refuse to use the settlement to raise their debt caps,” said Republican Senator Pat Toomey. “Because they have to identify the amount of debt they want to incur on the American economy. They obfuscate the amount of dollars without specifying the amount of this horrific spending they are engaged in. I want to avoid accountability. ”

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Senate Republicans voted in October to help Democrats raise their debt caps. However, enough Republican senators voted in favor of procedural measures to end the bill’s filibuster. This opened the door for Senate Democrats to raise their debt caps themselves.

In the Republican strategy in October, Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) lamented, “We have folded.”

Senate leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. Speaks to the media at Capitol Hill on October 19, 2021. (AP Photo / Jacklin Martin)

Senate leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. Speaks to the media at Capitol Hill on October 19, 2021. (AP Photo / Jacklin Martin)

Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Expresses anger at President Byden over debt caps after a football spike speech on the floor by Senate leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.). bottom.

“In light of Senator Schumer’s hysterical and my serious concerns about how another vast and reckless partisan spending bill would hurt Americans and help China, I’m the result of mismanagement of democracy. Will not be a party to future efforts to mitigate. ”

Translation: Democrats need to get involved in this debt cap crisis on their own.

However, despite McConnell’s heated letter to the president, minority leaders may have eased his position on debt caps.

Just before Thanksgiving, McConnell and Schumer flocked to discuss the advancement of debt caps to avoid standoffs.

“We talked and agreed to continue to work together,” McConnell said in mid-November to relieve his suffering.

McConnell further eased his October stance on debt caps when lawmakers returned to the meeting this week.

“I want to ensure that the government isn’t in default like never before, and secondly, with the majority of leaders, I’m discussing progress here,” McConnell said on Tuesday.

Schumer accepted the open channel.

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“I have a good conversation with leader McConnell about this,” Schumer said. “I won’t go into details.”

This is the same strategy that Graham and other Republicans criticized McConnell in October. Initially, they believed McConnell was trapped in debt caps and explained that Democrats should carry their cargo on their own. McConnell then retreated and indirectly approved a short-term debt cap increase. Immediately after the debt cap vote in October, McConnell terminated his letter to Biden. A month later, McConnell talked to Schumer again, saying the country wouldn’t be the default.


Schumer then avoided the reporter’s question as to whether Democrats could use the settlement process to raise their debt caps on their own.

“We want to come up with a bipartisan agreement in favor of both parties that does not endanger us with debt caps,” Schumer replied, never touching on the subject of the settlement. ..

It is former President Trump who sees all of this from his wings. Many Republicans and senators are trying to imitate the former president when it comes to voting and policy making.

Trump offended McConnell with a sizzling statement from a distance, as he often does.

Former President Donald Trump is waving before Game 4 of the World Series in Atlanta on October 30, 2021.

Former President Donald Trump is waving before Game 4 of the World Series in Atlanta on October 30, 2021.
(Michael Zariri / Getty Images)

“Old Crow Mitch McConnell, who has been beaten in every way since giving radical left-wing Democrats a two-month delay that allows them to’combine their actions’, is fully used. Must be fully prepared to use debt sealing to kill the Democratic Party’s new social spending (waste!) Bill, which will change our country forever, “the former president wrote. .. “Mitch and the Republican Senator beat them, but didn’t know it, and we arrived at the Unfrastructure Bill, which is only 11% of the infrastructure.”

Trump argued that McConnell should “use debt caps, Mitch, and show strength and courage” for leverage over the Democratic Party.

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That is McConnell’s problem.

McConnell has twice suggested that he is digging into debt caps this fall. After that, McConnell retreated. Since the former president is monitoring every move of him, McConnell can only maintain so many political slashes before it puts his political capital at risk.

McConnell is a wise and political tactician. But he is also an institutionalist in the Senate. He also knows the implications for a nation if it hits its debt cap.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell at the US Capitol on November 17, 2021.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell at the US Capitol on November 17, 2021.
(Stephanie Reynolds / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

This latest brush with debt caps still has a solution.

At NASA, astronomers have been tracking the asteroid 4660 Nereus since the early 1980s. They know their trajectory, their speed, and the threat they pose. Since asteroids are cruising on a regular basis, Japanese space agencies have even come up with the idea of ​​”moving” asteroids off the course with a spacecraft.

The concept is inextricably linked to any idea that Congress may decide on debt caps.

Parliamentarians can vote to raise their debt cap. But that doesn’t really move government bonds “off course.” Debt continues to skyrocket. And often, Congress has to raise its debt cap. Little is done to deal with overall debt and federal spending.

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For decades, policy makers have been worried that so many debts will ultimately plague the United States.

It’s like an asteroid. Asteroids continue to pass near the Earth at regular intervals. 2.4 million miles away. It is “potentially dangerous”. But everything is fine.

Until otherwise.

Congress flirts with debt cap clashes, another close encounter: reporter’s notebook

Source link Congress flirts with debt cap clashes, another close encounter: reporter’s notebook

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