Refusing to Learn From Past, Republicans Appear Ready to Play Games with Debt Ceiling

We guess we shouldn’t be shocked at this point: despite numerous warnings about the possible harm to our economy, businesses, and families, Republicans still are willing to play games with the debt ceiling.

According to an article in POLITICO:

“As if they were reading off cue cards, several leading House Republicans inside and outside leadership say there are loads of GOP lawmakers who are perfectly willing to gamble with default.”

As we’ve seen in the past, gambling with default risks another credit downgrade, uncertainty in our markets, and could harm Americans’ finances.  Even more shocking is the reaction some Republican leaders had to their own Senators working to reach a compromise on a balanced fiscal deal:

Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan: It doesn’t matter — we’re not going to do what [the Senate Republicans] want to do.  It really doesn’t matter what they do. It doesn’t matter what John McCain and others do on the taxes and the rest. If they want to give up taxes for the sequester, we’re not going to do that. So it doesn’t really affect us.” [POLITICO, 7/23]

So once again, compromise isn’t an option for House Republican leadership.

Fortunately, some Republicans are still giving us reason to hope that sanity will prevail. Several GOP Representatives have signaled they are considering whether to sign Democrats’ discharge petition that would direct Speaker Boehner to name negotiators to a conference on the budget resolution, which could stop the sequester with a comprehensive and commonsense deal:

Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA): “I am proudly on record about this. I believe we need to go to conference. I have listened carefully to the argument that we should not go to conference, and frankly I don’t find it compelling.” [CQ, 7/24]

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC): “I think we ought to start the process … I’ll look at [the discharge petition].” [CQ, 7/24]

With less than only 5 legislative days until August recess (not including today) and less than 15 legislative days until the end of the fiscal year, time is running short. We hope that Republicans in the House will stop playing games and instead work toward the big and balanced fiscal deal our country needs.