Thursday, July 28, 2011

Clock Still Running

It is now a full two business days since John Boehner had promised to deliver even a basic, non-compromise option to lift the debt ceiling. He said he would be able to pass a bill through the House of Representatives by Wednesday. It is now Friday morning, and nothing has emerged from the Republican chamber. A failure lift the debt ceiling would have serious and potentially catastrophic effects on the American economy, especially for borrowers, businesses, and investors. Maybe the heavy lifting has been too hard for Boehner; he certainly has the option of passing a much simpler bill (and one that would be passed by the Senate and signed by the President): lift the debt ceiling enough that the 112th Congress won't have to deal with it again, or abolish it altogether. No strings attached, no policy wrangling needed.

If John Boehner couldn't get enough of his own party to vote for the Republican option to raise the debt ceiling, he should try for a simpler solution. Send a clean debt ceiling bill to the Senate. Put the partisan games aside. Start governing responsibly. If he can deliver even a couple dozen Republican votes for a responsible plan to end this manufactured crisis, the Democrats will provide the rest to put the measure over the top.

The key questions facing Americans today whether there are 24 pragmatic House Republicans willing to look past a narcissist tea party ideology, and will Boehner let them work with Democrats to remove this insane crisis of choice? I'm not exactly hopeful that the answer to either of those questions is a yes.

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