Curt Flewelling, FISM News
In an eleventh-hour move, House Democrats have filed a special rule that could theoretically allow them to make an end run around Republicans in the ongoing debt ceiling debate.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has urged both parties to resolve their differences on the issue. She warned Congress to lift or suspend the debt limit or the country will be unable to pay its obligations as soon as June 1.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said on Tuesday, “A dangerous default is not an option. Making sure that America pays its bills-and not the extreme ransom note demanded by Republicans-is the only responsible course of action.”
The Democrats’ bold move is called a discharge petition. The appeal is a signed demand by a majority of House members forcing consideration of a bill without having to go through leadership. Any bill proposed by Democrats would no doubt contain their existing budget increase demands without regard to GOP calls for dramatic deficit reduction measures.
In reference to the chances of the Democrats’ move working, Representative Scott Perry (R-PA.) said it wouldn’t work in an interview with The Hill.
“They’re not going to get any Republicans. You don’t establish a lot of trust or a bipartisan framework by trying to threaten your way out of the situation you’ve created for yourself,” Perry said.
The proposed special rule is unlikely to work as Democrats would have to get five Republican House members to break ranks and support the measure. Currently, the United States is in debt to the tune of a whopping $31.38 trillion.
This dysfunctional two-step between Republicans and Democrats rears its ugly head annually. Both sides spew hyperbolic invectives warning of apocalyptic consequences if the debt ceiling is or isn’t raised. Democrats assert that the spending increases that they propose are essential and without them, catastrophe will no doubt ensue.
Republicans retort by asserting that these spending increases are largely for frivolous purposes and that the same dire consequences will take place if the debt ceiling is raised. Periodically, government shutdowns are threatened as if the fire needed more gas.
As is often the case in politics, both sides eventually end up compromising and subsequently claim victory for their efforts. The debt ceiling is almost always raised and the crisis ends not with a bang but a whimper, as America sinks deeper into debt.
As of now, talks will continue as the June 1 deadline inches closer. President Joe Biden has invited congressional leaders from both parties to the White House next week to hopefully hammer out a compromise on the issue.