Intense Senate Talks Demonstrate Weak Leadership
Reading this Hill article will likely infuriate you if you have any appreciation for getting things done. And it's both sides of the aisle; it's not simply politics. These are government bureaucrats, not leaders, or problem solvers. Above all, they love to talk, plan and, hopefully, off-load responsibility to some other mechanism, commission, gang, or idea to distance themselves from anything practical for political purposes in the future.
If one actually cares about our trillions of dollars of debt, it's painful reading of so many unnecessary and quasi-self-indulgent plans to form this or that entity to talk and plan some more - to eventually only come up with some other ridiculous additional entity, or plan. You soon realize these people spend their time talking about everything and anything but the actual problems they claim to be there to solve. They reserve that for their floor speeches from which they cull campaign footage before filing them away like some old Tonight Show appearance.
What these people need to do most is leave Congress and get a damned job. Yeah, good luck with that today, thank you very much, Senators. Good heavens – you all must suck at accomplishing anything, so you opted for politics, instead!
The two sides are discussing trigger mechanisms that could be used to build bipartisan support. Such triggers would force Congress to carry out another round of deficit reduction before the 2012 election.
Republicans argue that Reid’s bill would cut much less because they contend the $1 trillion Democrats have counted in war savings amounts to a budget gimmick. They say President Obama was planning to draw down the troop levels in any case.
Republicans have endorsed a Democratic idea of setting up a special committee to find additional savings. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) included the idea in his proposal, which is likely to come up for a vote Friday afternoon.
One possibility under consideration is to automatically enact spending cuts and tax increases — a penalty painful to both Democrats and Republicans — if the committee fails to act.
Another fail-safe option would be to automatically implement the instructions of the Senate’s Gang of Six framework, which calls for steep spending cuts, reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and about $1 trillion in increased revenues. The group projects its plan would reduce the deficit by $3.7 trillion.
Many Republicans have endorsed the framework, including Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the third-ranking member of the Senate GOP leadership, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) and Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.).
Reid said he is also still considering the last-resort fall-back plan Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) introduced earlier this month.
McConnell’s plan would give Obama authority to request a $2.5 trillion increase of the debt limit in three tranches, which would be subject to congressional resolutions of disapproval. The plan would give Obama nearly sole authority to raise the debt limit because it would require two-thirds votes in both chambers to override his veto of a disapproval resolution.