House GOP Load Their Debt Ceiling Bill with Poison Pills That Democrats Won’t Take

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National Review senior editor ‏Ramesh Ponnuru tweeted several alarming distinctions between the House bill and the Senate bill. The House bill is clearly meant to appease conservatives, but in the doing, it’s so bad that it seems like it’s not a serious effort to avoid default.

For shutting down the government and threatening to default on our full faith and credit and thereby violate the Constitution, Republicans in the House are offering to:

1) Take more power away from the President by removing executive agencies ability to allocate funds during sequestration (which should be a big clue that they have no plan to end their sequestration and also gives them incentive not to—neither of which is a good plan for the country), which they can do in the Senate bill.

2) Remove the Treasury’s ability to take extraordinary measures to delay hitting the debt limit in the future. Are you kidding me? With this group of radical nihilists that are currently holding the country hostage? That’s like saying “Hey, this is a stick up. Give me everything in your wallet, including all of your weapons and keep your doors open in the future so when I need some money I can roll on in and terrify you at will.” Thanks but no thanks.

3) Drop the delay in the reinsurance tax which was the Democratic GET in the Senate bill. In other words, there’s no enticement here, nothing from the Democratic agenda except the should be shared goal of not destroying the country.

3) The medical device tax would be suspended for two years. (Thus, a change to ObamaCare so Republicans can save face.)

4) The Vitter amendment would apply to Congress, President, VP, and Cabinet but not Congressional staff. (Another ObamaCare change to appeal to the base.)

The non-starters to me:

@RameshPonnuru:
House plan also ends admin’s ability to take extraordinary measures to extend debt-limit date. Next deadline would be firm.

1 diff b/w House and Senate plans–latter lets exec agencies allocate funds to soften sequestration cuts. House appropriators hate.

Democrats have steadfastly refused (for good reason – to avoid a precedent for Constitutional crises used as ransom) to negotiate with the country as the GOP’s bargaining chip. They have said Republicans must fund the government and raise the debt ceiling per the Constitution, and then they will negotiate. This is sane, it is correct and it is the proper order.

So, with just hours left to go before their own actions bring on a default, House Republicans decide to put together their own version of a bill that gives Democrats nothing except maybe not destroying the country. This is just another Boehner cave to the Tea Party. Republicans apparently want to make ObamaCare the issue so badly that they will not pass a bill that doesn’t change it somehow. For this “principle” against their own idea, they are willing to destroy the country.

There is not one single thing from the Democrat’s agenda in it, per Ramesh Ponnuru’s account, which matches up with other takes on the House bill at this time. This means that unless the country were being held hostage (and it is), Democrats would never agree to this House bill. And that means that Republicans completely ignored the rules of “negotiating” — again.

Apparently, they are planning on skipping town as soon as they pass it, which is the ultimate middle finger to the Senate, the Democrats, and most of all, to the country. This is one long big middle finger to the country.

The worst part about this? Boehner may not even have the votes to pass it. Since he put nothing in it for Democrats, he can’t rely upon Democrats to pass it for him as he usually does under duress, so he needs 217 Republicans to vote for it. Boehner isn’t exactly known for delivering Republican votes.

In summation, the House bill takes power away from the President and the Treasury and therefor sets us up for major problems just months down the road when Republicans do this again, changes ObamaCare, and takes away the one Democratic agenda item.

These are poison pills designed to kill this deal while not taking responsibility for killing it.

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