Congressional Republicans’ latest scheme to force Congress to cut Medicare and Social Security could end up blowing up in their faces and giving Democrats a huge win.
The right was sent into a tizzy a few days ago when Majority Leader Eric Cantor said, “We must pay our bills and responsibly budget for our future. Next week, we will authorize a three month temporary debt limit increase to give the Senate and House time to pass a budget. Furthermore, if the Senate or House fails to pass a budget in that time, Members of Congress will not be paid by the American people for failing to do their job. No budget, no pay.”
The idea for this political stunt/gimmick came from Republican Sen. Dean Heller who was on Fox and Friends today:
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Heller told the members of Congress who arguing against his idea to, “cut your pay, go back to your district, and see if your constituents complain.”
That one sentence highlights the fatal flaw in the Heller’s idea. Democrats could vote to cut their own pay, and then refuse to go along with the budget cuts that Republicans are trying to ransom out of them. Since nearly half of the members of congress are millionaires, they could easily vote not to pay themselves and reap a double political windfall of cutting their own pay while also protecting earned entitlements.
The reason why Republicans are desperately trying to drag Democrats into a budget crisis is because they are looking for leverage on the issue of spending cuts. Congressional Republicans are trying to take a new hostage in order to gut the social safety net. That is why the Senate passing a budget is so important to them. Sen. Heller’s gimmick is an attempt to get congressional Republicans out of the corner that they have painted themselves into. Republicans are searching for something to use to put the pressure on Democrats.
Sen. Heller’s plan gives new definition to the term harebrained scheme. If they aren’t careful, this latest half baked stunt will blow up in their faces and net two huge public relations wins for Democrats.