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  • Senator Mitch McConnell's Insufficient Debt Ceiling Plan

    Earlier today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell floated a proposal that, essentially, cedes the authority for raising the debt limit from the Congress to the president.

    Under McConnell’s plan, President Obama would propose three incremental debt limit increases between now and the end of 2012.  Congress could only vote to disapprove these requests, which President Obama could then veto. Without a 2/3 majority in Congress to override that veto, which is very unlikely, the debt limit increase would become automatic.

    This plan is insufficient and is obviously a non-starter. At a time of record deficits and an ever-worsening economy, it would be the height of irresponsibility to raise the federal debt ceiling $2.5 trillion without at the same time implementing sweeping systemic reforms that would restore our nation’s economy.

    First, this plan effectively eliminates Congress’ authority and responsibility for the federal budget.  We won’t know if real cuts will even exist, rather than the smoke and mirrors Americans have been suckered by in the past.

    It’s obvious the President’s has very liberal spending priorities, meaning defense would be cut while Obamacare and stimulus projects continued to be fully funded.

    But the plan is also based on small hopes for future cuts in spending, with no hope for systemic reform and virtually guarantees $2.5 trillion will be added to our federal deficit.

    Regardless, this proposal raises several serious constitutional concerns.  Depending on exactly how the legislative language is drafted, it well might violate the Bicameralism and Presentment Clauses for the making of law, the separation of powers regarding Congress’s control over the budget and spending, the legislative Recommendations Clause, and it might also be struck down as an attempt to grant the President the equivalent of a line-item veto.  It is also unclear whether the unconstitutional portion would be struck down by the courts and severed from the rest of the statute (which would eliminate Congress’s ability to veto the cuts) or if the entire scheme would be struck down.  But, at a minimum, the proposal is highly dubious as a matter of constitutional law.

    The American people sent this Congress to Washington last November with a mandate to get government under control, not do their best to place blame for its insolvency. We cannot kick this problem down the road, and we cannot spend time developing escape hatches rather than solutions.

    The only bipartisan agreement in Washington right now is that the debt ceiling cannot be raised without real and tangible spending cuts. Let’s not retreat from that important position.

    We understand that the plan, by design, puts the onus on liberals in Washington to finally propose some way to address out of control spending. They have not passed a budget in more than 800 days.  Unfortunately  political maneuvering in a time of such high stakes is not sufficient.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    33 Responses to Senator Mitch McConnell's Insufficient Debt Ceiling Plan

    1. geraldsd says:

      That is what the Dems would do….

    2. Byung Kyu Park says:

      If this is unconstitutional, so is the proposed REINS Act.

      You might want to clarify your position: either *both* the REINS Act and McConnell proposal are constitutional (that is, they satisfy the bicameralism and presentment clause), or they both are not. What is your interpretation of INS v. Chadha?

      Line item veto angle might be more nuanced … but is it seriously the conservative position that line item veto (which is a great tool for reducing spending) should be unconstitutional?

    3. bdonny1@yahoo.com says:

      Please tell me McConnell did not do this.

    4. Randy Penrod says:

      And I didn't think my respect for Sen. McConnell could sink any lower. Seems I was wrong enough to become Senate Minority Leader.

    5. Derek Harris says:

      McConnell's proposal tells me that the Republicans are ready to collapse. If they do they have lost my support.

    6. A Carlson says:

      I cannot believe the Republican Party is so, so, so GUTLESS ! ! !
      2010 is probably the last time I will vote GOP. McConnell, you are spinless ! ! !
      Stand up to that SOB president like the Democrats did to Bush, over and over again. Raise hell ! ! !
      Do you have alsheimers and can't remember people like Kennedy, Reid, Weiner, Hillary, etc. etc. yelling at the top of their voices, but standing for something other than compromise.

    7. Vickie Deacon says:

      Thanks so much to Rory Cooper and the Heritage Foundation for this great information. WE THE PEOPLE have all of our hopes and faith placed in Congress right now. This would be devastating to our Nation, to the Conservative Movement and it could perhaps be the death knell of the Republican Party. WE THE PEOPLE desperately need to stay together under the tent of the Republican Party for the sake of winning back our Nation in the 2012 election. We need our Republican leaders to stay with us and lead on the side of conservatism. It is time to stop Obama's spending and to put the brakes on Obamacare. Please do not give the Democrats any more opportunities to throw tax money to the wind.

    8. johnconstitution says:

      It is utterly incomprehensible to me that McConnell could suggest such a thing. Is he planning on switching parties or something?

    9. Jeff, Illinois says:

      If the debt ceiling is such a crisis . . why did the GOP vote to subsidize the oil industry which made record profits?

    10. len says:

      Is McConnel out of his mind??? Give more authority to this dictorial president???? Congress has become meaningless since the authorization of "executive order" priviledge given to the executive branch. We need spending cuts and only spending cuts

    11. Gerald Segelstrom says:

      Amen, what the heck was McConnell thinking. We don't need to compromise, we won in November and Congress has a mandate. If the Republicans screw this up they are history.

    12. Harry Taylor says:

      Pull back the curtain and reveal the truth about Republicans. They dance to whatever tune Wall Street Bankers tell them. And in no uncertain terms they have delivered the message to raise the debt ceiling now. Money screams, and McConnell listens. Who are you kidding. This is not about ideology.
      It’s about FUNDING.

    13. Bobbie says:

      To empathize with the fact, grown adults are dealing with an adult spoiled brat with a quantum force of unknowns, who doesn't like or respect the principles or values of America and her civil humanity or the freedom and independence of human life, Americans and refuses to comply with solutions that sustain human inalienable freedom, while deceiving his followers to hide the real fault is a sad challenge to be forced to pursue. Please do what's right for the common good of mankind and not the unconstitutional discriminating good Obama continues to support with other peoples money and without their consent Let us live our lives without the abuse of government authority to discriminate. For the government to discriminate and with bias is a total violation of the American Constitution and it has to STOP!!!!!

    14. mdmandklm says:

      Mitch McConnell caved the last time and now wants to jump under the bus on his own. Please get him out of there. He is a "hack" looking to save his skin while playing the role of a angel.

    15. Robert Hunter says:

      McConnell's proposal advocates abdication and shifting the responsibility of the Congress to the Executive in a futile and vain attempt to shift the blame for the coming calamity to the Democrats for a sole and obvious political reason.

      What is certain is that the proposal, if adopted, will not save the Republican Party but hasten its demise by encouraging that specter of a third party.

    16. heartless says:

      i have voted for mcconnell every time he has run but i will never vote for him again. i will work for whomever runs against him. talk about a rhino.

    17. steve h says:

      Thank you Senator McConnell – finally someone on the right fights back agaisnt the lunatics who actually want to see teh US default on it's debt, which would lead to the greatest economic disaster we've ever faced. Thank you Senator for standing up to the fringe. No president has ever raised the debt limit more than Reagan, yet all those who hold Reagan as an icon are the ones who oppose raising it – pure hypocrisy.

    18. Jim, CT says:

      This makes sense. The executive branch has already taken the power to go to war without Congressional approval and can effectively legislate through the various departments. Granting the executive the power of the purse is just the natural progression towards an elected dictatorship.

    19. Vic Hess says:

      I think this proposal is the sign of a genus. This places the responsibility for raising the debt limit exactly where is belongs on the President. It forces him to have a debate and put in writing his ideas on why the debt limit should be increased. It gives the congress a chance to lodge a vote of protest but prevents the American Public from suffering due to political posturing.
      Remember if the debt limit is not increased the President and Treasury Secretary get to decide on which liabilities get paid. If they decide that Social Security Checks are not a priority or something else like pay for military personal. I’m pretty sure that political future of the party that is deem responsible for the failure will be catastrophe.
      Until we can successfully replace this President we conservatives need to keep our powder dry.

    20. Billie says:

      McConnell does NOT speak for the American people. He should not be involved in these negotiations. If his proposal is adopted I will not vote for a Republican as long as I live. Move McConnell to the back of the bus and let the young guns do the negotiating.

    21. thorolyfedup says:

      So… If the federal debt limit is such a big issue, then why did Republicans vote for every single increase since 1967? In the same manner, because this is such a big deal, why did Republicans UNANIMOUSLY and without restriction pass all seven of GW Bush's increases, when his administration single-handedly drove us from a surplus to the highest deficit in history? A much more important question is HEY REPUBLICANS, WHERE ARE THOSE JOBS YOU CAMPAIGNED ABOUT?

    22. disgusted says:

      I am so disgusted with Mc Mconnel, have always voted and supported him but no more if he goes for the debt hike, cut spending ,cut taxes, thats what we voted for

    23. Rocky Balboa says:

      steve h….please show me the proof that Reagan raised the debt ceiling more than any other President in history. You can't because the President does not have the power to raise the debt ceiling. Only Congress can do this…..duh. And who was in control of both Houses of Congress for most of Reagan's 8 years…………Yep….You guessed it……Dirty Democrats!

      thorolyfedup……GOP didn't campaign on job creation….your boy Obama did. Where are the jobs he promised????? Don't try to blame the GOP for Obama's ineptitude.

      Riddle me this…..you were probably against Bush and the Dem Congress from 2007-2008 spending like drunken sailors and adding almost $6 trillion to our National Debt, right? Then why is it ok for your buddy Obama and the Dem Congress to add more to the National Debt in 30 months than Bush did in his entire 8 years? Bush and the Dem Congress were wrong and so is Obama and the 2009-2010 Dem controlled Congress. Why can't you just admit this????

    24. Anita Sylvia Garcia says:

      It is time for Senators to be statesmen instead of politicians. Do Not think of the lobbyists, but of the American people. If you believe in smaller government, how about eliminating oil and corporate subsidies; defense and getting more corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. What's is so wrong with taxing the wealthiest?
      Every public policy report has documented the fact that our government policies since Reagan have adversely affected the middle class. Everyone is for cutting spending until it is your JOB that is cut!

    25. Rhonda says:

      Senator Mitch Mcconnell,

      Do not raise the debt ceiling, no new taxes and cap and cut spending. Do not give Obama a free ticket any more. The bank of citizens is over drawn!

    26. @Noegruts1 says:

      Intelligent poultry farmers do not put a wolf in charge of chicken houses. Intelligent adults do not borrow themselves into bankruptcy, then borrow massive amounts of money — not to reorganize, but to buy more stuff. The path to the economic recovery of America is through spending restraint, productive job creation, and a freeze on more borrowing. Progressives do not want recovery, otherwise they would do what is required to cause it. Mitch McConnell is obviously a Progressive.

    27. Joe says:

      Once this is passed, the president will take all of the power that voters gave the house in 2010. We will become another socialist nation like the Europeans.

    28. Karen says:

      We don't owe President Oboma or any Senator or Congressman the right to waste, steal or use any form of fraud with our money. Let's not give Oboma a blank check like McConnell wants to do on the debt ceiling. Let's not give up though….let our next vote and next and next one count to get rid of the rhino Republicans and put true Conservatives in their place. If they mess up, – out they go, too. Our vote is all we have, unless all want to go to jail and don't pay our taxes. We have one civic alternative, and that is to vote wisely.

    29. disgusted says:

      So Mr holy than thou: how come you voted about 19 times to raise the debt ceiling when the incompetent BUSH was in office-do you have dementia?

    30. Ken Amaral says:

      If I don't receive my Social Security check this August…..you're responsible.

    31. wanda says:

      I DONT care if you are demoacratie are Republicans get in there and work out what is good for people that put you there are do you need some hard working people to come work it out we have to live on what we have. you need do same. more debt you have there is pay back .cut some of pay up there .pay off some debt are we will all be gone.

    32. Ryan says:

      Boehner's spending cuts don't solve the problem of the debt ceiling needing to be raised. McConell's plan does. If you want to lean on the conservative side, encourage Boehner to cut spending for military so we don't have to raise the debt ceiling.

      I understand our country's in bad shape and would be okay with higher taxes as long as responsible cuts are being made. I often feel alone as a Christian Conservative who actually takes "give to ceaser what's ceaser's" to heart.

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