Republicans are preparing to go into full OUTRAGE MODE over the Obama Administration’s request to the Treasury to raise the debt ceiling another $1.2 trillion. The debt ceiling deal worked out earlier this year gives the Republicans a chance to pass a resolution of disapproval, but the President would have to sign the resolution after it somehow passed a Democratically-controlled Senate in order to stop the debt ceiling hike. In other words, there’s nothing the Republicans can really do other than complain loudly.
Except President Obama has outfoxed the elephants once again: the GOP may not even get the chance to do that much, because they’re on winter break until January 17. Brian Beutler explains:
The key issue is the 15-day deadline Congress has to vote on a resolution of disapproval of the President’s request to raise the debt ceiling. The timing of the administration’s planned certification implies that the 15 days would be up before Congress returns in January from its holiday recess. Whether this was an accident or not, we’re told that the calendar issue created a behind-the-scenes mess — with Republicans threatening to return early from recess — and that the administration is trying to figure out a way to keep it from spilling out into the public.
I’ve reached out to the administration for further guidance on both questions. It’s still unclear whether this was a hardball political move, a dumb mistake, or just a misunderstanding — or what, if anything, can be done to avoid a public clash with the GOP over the timing.
The size of the debt hike — easily getting the country through 2012 without having to bring it up during the election — and the timing seems to indicate to me that A) this was done on purpose, B) it was done to pants the GOP, and C) most importantly the Obama administration understands full well that raising the debt ceiling was going to be portrayed by the GOP as an impeachable offense no matter what the President actually did about it. So the White House is looking to get this out of the way.
Pretty sure this was the plan all along, and the GOP is now facing having to blow their vacation or miss their big chance at portraying the President as the most vile of all villains when of course previous Presidents jacked up the debt limit all the time, including Dubya’s seven times and Reagan’s 18 times. Your move, Republicans. You already lost that fight once.
If you ask me, President Obama’s got them by the short hairs. Again.