The rather painless vote on a no strings attached temporary increase in the debt limit back in January and the easy passage of a continuing resolution this week made it seem as if the age of manufactured budget crises might finally be over. But apparently Speaker John Boehner is not ready to give up on them just yet. Yesterday, he said he was planning to hold the debt ceiling hostage once again. From Huffington Post:
Speaking at his regular news conference, Boehner said the only way the House would go along with raising the country’s borrowing cap was if President Barack Obama and the Democrats came up with an equal amount in budget cuts.
“Dollar for dollar is the plan,” Boehner told reporters, adding that there have been no major talks on the debt limit at this point.
“The president has been clear that he’s not going to address our entitlement crisis unless we’re willing to raise taxes. I think the tax issue has been resolved,” said Boehner. “So at this point then, I don’t know how we’re going to go forward.”
Now we are heading towards another game of political chicken.
Last time, President Obama took a firm stance and the Republicans eventually folded by approving a debt limit increase without spending cuts. If Obama takes an unyielding stance this time, the GOP will likely back down again; but there are a few concerning signs some Democrats might want to use the debt limit to try to rerun the artificial crisis scam. Just a few days before Boehner made this statement, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said he though the debt limit might provide an opportunity to force a grand bargain.
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