GOP house plans 10 year goal of balanced budget
Today, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on bill that would allow the federal government to borrow enough money to pay its bills through May 18th, but then suspend all Congressional pay starting May 19th, until each House of Congress passes a budget. The budget provision is designed to force Senate Democrats, particularly those up for reelection in 2014 in states carried by Mitt Romney, to take votes putting them on record in favor of higher taxes to pay for President Obama’s spending proposals.
Up until yesterday, Obama had been insisting on a clean debt limit hike, but Tuesday his Office of Management and Budget released astatement saying they would not veto the House bill. “Although H.R. 325 is a short-term measure and introduces unnecessary complications, needlessly perpetuating uncertainty in the Nation’s fiscal system,” the OMB statement said, “the Administration is encouraged that H.R. 325 lifts the immediate threat of default and indicates that congressional Republicans have backed off an insistence on holding the Nation’s economy hostage to extract drastic cuts in Medicare, education, and other programs that middle-class families depend on.”
Obama’s debt limit concession creates a major headache for Senate Democrats who now must either force their most vulnerable members to vote for tax hikes, or take the blame for a catastrophic failure to pay the federal government’s bills. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., refused to say how he would proceed yesterday, instead deflecting all questions to incoming-Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray, D-Wash.
Getting House conservatives to sign on to the debt limit bill, dubbed #nobudgetnopay by Republican House Leadership, was no easy task. Republican leaders have promised conservatives they will both allow the almost $1 trillion in sequester spending cuts to occur on schedule and get the next House budget to balance in 10 years.
...The balanced budget portion should be popular with most voters. It has been one of the main gripes of conservatives. I am a little concerned about the suspension of the debt ceiling in that Obama may try to cram a bunch of spending into the three month window. The House will have to control that effort.