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October 8, 2013
There is no magic wand that allows us to wish away the chaos that could result if — for the first time in our history — we don’t pay our bills on time.
President Obama • Issuing a dire prophecy on the state of affairs if — as becomes an increasingly worrisome possibility, with the deadline looming on October 17th — Congress fails to reopen the federal government and raise the debt limit. He also took a dig at proponents of the ballyhooed platinum coin, but indicated that he’d implement some kind of strategy if the feared default took place : “We plan for every contingency. So obviously, you know, worst-case scenario, there are things that we will try to do — but I will repeat, I don’t think any option is good.” source
18:35 // 11 months ago
October 4, 2013
Obama’s view, which I share, is that the debt ceiling fight is far more important not only than the specific policies on the table, or even the catastrophic economic consequences of a debt breach. It’s a fight to preserve the Constitutional order. And conservatives have resolutely refused to grapple with that fact…If the conservative goal is to create the illusion of winning something for the debt ceiling, then they’ll come back next time to win more, and Democrats can’t allow that.
Jon Chait’s take on why the Democrats are, in the words of the GOP, “refusing to negotiate.” Republicans would reply that Democrats have used the debt limit as a bargaining chip in the past, and it’s thus unfair to excoriate the GOP for “suddenly” attempting to upend the constitutional order. This is a disingenuous argument, though, as Dave Weigel has pointed out; the House GOP’s conduct now truly is unprecedented. source
14:34 // 11 months ago
January 11, 2013
"[W]e believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis — without Congressional approval, if necessary." So reads a letter sent to the president today by top Senate Democrats. It’s not every day that members of congress explicitly voice their willingness to be circumvented by the president, but Harry Reid and company clearly believe that the threat of default is a real possibility. Later on in the letter, the Democrats call for “a broad, bipartisan agreement” to reduce the long-term deficit - but only one that puts “the entire budget on the table,” as opposed to policy that only cuts “earned benefits for seniors and middle-class families.” (Photo credit: AP)  source

"[W]e believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis — without Congressional approval, if necessary." So reads a letter sent to the president today by top Senate Democrats. It’s not every day that members of congress explicitly voice their willingness to be circumvented by the president, but Harry Reid and company clearly believe that the threat of default is a real possibility. Later on in the letter, the Democrats call for “a broad, bipartisan agreement” to reduce the long-term deficit - but only one that puts “the entire budget on the table,” as opposed to policy that only cuts “earned benefits for seniors and middle-class families.” (Photo credit: AP)  source

20:25 // 1 year ago
November 15, 2011

USPS expected to default on payment, could be broke by next year

  • $5.1 billion lost in fiscal 2011 by the US Postal Service source

» They could be broke by September 2012: On top of that, they expect to default on a key health care pension plan payment (which forces them to pre-pay for workers’ future health benefits decades in advance) — of $5.5 billion.

19:54 // 2 years ago
August 11, 2011
"I think this nation should never default!" Jon Huntsman’s attempt at roaring applause regarding the debt ceiling (including a warm fuzzy hug for John Boehner) only gets modest applause.

"I think this nation should never default!" Jon Huntsman’s attempt at roaring applause regarding the debt ceiling (including a warm fuzzy hug for John Boehner) only gets modest applause.

22:58 // 3 years ago
July 29, 2011

Boehner Bill Defeated in the Senate 59-41

Great.

20:30 // 3 years ago
July 28, 2011

An update on the debt ceiling shenanigans

boehner’s bill falls short: After a chaotic day of vote-whipping, vote-delaying, and vote-switching, John Boehner has decided to postpone the vote on his debt ceiling bill. Despite multiple assurances that it would be brought to a vote before tomorrow, at the end of the day, Boehner didn’t have enough votes to ensure the bill’s passage (and he wasn’t going to embarrass himself by introducing a bill that was sure to fail). In an unusual alignment, conservative Tea Partiers and House Democrats all pledged to vote against the bill, albiet for different reasons. While the legislation has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate, Boehner’s ability to shepherd it through the House is seen by many as the first real test of his leadership abilities. If he doesn’t eventually pass it, there’s a good chance he’ll (eventually) be deposed as Speaker. But it’s not over yet—sources say Republicans plan to tweak the bill a bit, and re-introduce it tomorrow.  source

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23:23 // 3 years ago
July 27, 2011
The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.
John McCain • Ripping the Republican Party on the Senate floor. He later derided House Republicans’ approach to the debt-ceiling discussions as “the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees.” source (viafollow)
23:52 // 3 years ago
July 25, 2011
Obama speech light on policy, heavy on politics
We were planning on live-blogging  the President’s primetime speech on the debt ceiling, but there wasn’t much to live-blog about. He didn’t support or reject any new policies, or endorse a specific strategy for raising the debt limit. Rather, the President doubled-down on the importance of avoiding default, reinforced hard distinctions between him and House Republicans, and make slight adjustments to his political positioning. He warned, in his most explicit language yet, of the consequences default would have for average Americans. He came out hard for progressive taxation, hammering the Republicans for refusing to consider raising taxes on the rich, and explicitly asked constituents to call their representatives in Congress and voice support for the White House’s “balanced.” In general, as was the case in his press conference last Friday, the President ended up sounding a whole lot more partisan than normal, but didn’t deliver any game-changers. source
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We were planning on live-blogging the President’s primetime speech on the debt ceiling, but there wasn’t much to live-blog about. He didn’t support or reject any new policies, or endorse a specific strategy for raising the debt limit. Rather, the President doubled-down on the importance of avoiding default, reinforced hard distinctions between him and House Republicans, and make slight adjustments to his political positioning. He warned, in his most explicit language yet, of the consequences default would have for average Americans. He came out hard for progressive taxation, hammering the Republicans for refusing to consider raising taxes on the rich, and explicitly asked constituents to call their representatives in Congress and voice support for the White House’s “balanced.” In general, as was the case in his press conference last Friday, the President ended up sounding a whole lot more partisan than normal, but didn’t deliver any game-changers. source

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22:02 // 3 years ago
July 13, 2011
I’ve reached my limit. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this.
President Obama • Toward the end of a budget meeting with Republicans. It’s not clear what policy he won’t yield on, but from the texture of the debate thus far, we’re guessing it’s the inclusion of revenue increases in the deal to raise the debt-ceiling.source (viafollow)
22:34 // 3 years ago