That was certainly the indication when House Republicans last week unveiled their plan for a short 4-month suspension of the debt ceiling, tied to a demand that the Senate pass a budget or else receive no pay.
A spokesman for Nancy Pelosi called it a “gimmick.” Meanwhile, a spokesman for Harry Reid, although more receptive, still insisted on a “a clean debt-ceiling increase,” meaning no strings attached — like demands to pass a budget, a process the Senate has not completed for nearly four years.
But then on Jan. 22, suddenly, the White House issued a statement of support of the House Ways and Means Committee proposal to suspend the debt ceiling until May 19, 2013, H.R. 325.
So, now the legislation appears to be on the fast track.
There’s only one problem. When it passes, it could ultimately result in the elimination of the $16.394 trillion debt ceiling altogether.
“All the Senate has to do after the four months are up is insist that the debt ceiling suspension be extended indefinitely as the only means to avert default,” Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson noted in a statement, adding, “Come May 19, Republicans will be backed into a corner of their own making from which they will see no escape but total capitulation.”
After that, Obama and all future presidents would have a blank check to borrow unlimited amounts of money without any congressional approval. Which is hardly what voters envisioned when they sent Republicans into the House majority in 2010.
Emphasizing this point, Wilson said, “Unless House Republicans change the current path we are on, our nation’s national debt will have increased by more than $4 trillion during their four years in the majority. For a group that gained control of the House on the promise of deficit reduction, that will be an extremely difficult record to defend in 2014.”
It is an historical irony that Millard Fillmore, the last president of the Whig party, happened to be the 13th President of the United States.
And at this rate, if the debt ceiling really is lost altogether, costing Congress the power of the purse, it may yet prove to be a similar irony that the 113th House of Representatives, sworn in on 1-3-13, was the last Republican House majority in American history.
Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.