There’s a concerted effort in the White House right now to send the message that what House Republicans have promised to do is dangerous, and that they won’t play along. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters – Friday: “We will not be doing any negotiation over the debt ceiling.” She later added, “It is one of the basic items Congress has to deal with […] and it should be done without conditions.”
They’re also relying on allies to bang the drum. “They have the tiniest majority of one house, and they are prepared to use it to get concessions they know are incredibly unpopular,” said Dean Baker, economist co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “It would be a terrorist attack on the economy.”
“When the extraordinary measures are implemented, it signifies we are up against the debt limit and the clock is ticking,” Shai Akabas, director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank, told the Washington Post.
The warning comes the same week House Republicans started a game of chicken on the debt ceiling, even instituting House rules that would force their demands that a hike in the debt ceiling be tied to sharp cuts in social spending, including “reforms” to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that would undermine the programs.
The reality the House GOP is up against, however, is that no one else is bound by their rules. They’re not even really bound by their rules—House rules can and have been be sidestepped plenty of times in the. Sending the harsh message to the House—and more importantly to Wall Street and the business community—that the nation’s full faith and credit are in jeopardy is the first volley from the Democrats’ side in what will be an ugly battle. The sooner the people who can really bring pressure to bear on the Republicans are engaged, the better.
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