House GOP skirts debt-ceiling drama, can now focus on spending cuts

As I suggested last week, congressional Republicans don’t have to play around with the debt ceiling in order to make sure spending is cut during the next two months. And it appears that approach is more or less what they’re doing. From the Washington Post:

As House Republicans prepared to vote Wednesday on a plan to suspend the debt limit, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan made clear that the party is in no way abandoning its uncompromising approach to the budget battle with President Obama.

Republicans will insist that automatic spending cuts take effect March 1 unless other cuts are adopted, Ryan said. They may force a shutdown of the government on March 27 unless Democrats agree to additional cuts. And they will demand that any future increase in the debt limit – likely to be necessary this summer if the measure to suspend the current debt limit is adopted — be paired dollar-for-dollar with spending cuts or other reforms.

“We have a sequester kicking in on March 1, a continuing resolution [on the budget] expiring on March the 27. We have budgets that, if the Senate decides to do its job this year, will come out in April,” Ryan said Wednesday at a breakfast with reporters. “These are the kind of points we think force the kind of conversation we think we have to have.”

The suspension of the debt ceiling passed, although I would have much preferred to see a raise for a specific amount of money rather than time. But I still like the general tactic of taking the debt ceiling — and nonstop cries about defaulting on the debt — out of the discussion and relying on the sequester to force the action on spending cuts.

The question now is whether we’ll get the sequester, some other kind of cuts (preferably the kind that address the long-term solvency of entitlements), or whether the House GOP will lose its nerve.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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117 comments Add your comment

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 24th, 2013
11:52 am

It’s amazing that some people are completely freaked out over this coming tiny, little sequester when, in reality, it’s only just a start.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 24th, 2013
11:54 am

And that also depends on if the sequester is even real spending cuts and not just the typical budget gimmicks the liberals are so fond of.

getalife

January 24th, 2013
11:59 am

Low information for your voters Kyle.

They caved.

Tell the truth.

Hillbilly D

January 24th, 2013
12:03 pm

To put this in military terms, this is a lot like the Atlanta campaign. An entrenchment, followed by a flanking maneuver, followed by an entrenchment, followed by a flanking maneuver……and on and on. The can kicking will go and on by both sides. Guess who gets to play the role of the cannon fodder?

Cletus

January 24th, 2013
12:08 pm

“They may force a shutdown of the government on March 27…”

That’s funny. Federal employees are always…always, without exception…paid retroactively for government shutdowns. Furloughs are just delightful paid vacations. Better think of some other way to cut spending.

md

January 24th, 2013
12:11 pm

“They caved.”

Actually, they are now playing chess instead of checkers…….about time.

curious

January 24th, 2013
12:22 pm

How many times have the Republicans said “we aren’t joking, this time”?

barking frog

January 24th, 2013
12:30 pm

md
Actually, they are now playing chess instead of checkers…….about time.
………………………………………………………………………..
Actually, Obama is playing for checkmate 2014 and the Republicans
are “pawning’ their future for publicity.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 24th, 2013
12:32 pm

Take a good hard look at diane feistein’s gun ban legislation because this is the last time you’ll ever see it.

It won’t even make it out of the Senate.

indigo

January 24th, 2013
12:38 pm

I’m thinking Republicans will pretty much adopt stalling tactics until the 2014 mid-terms in hopes of making a comeback.

GDRLA

January 24th, 2013
12:38 pm

Simple solutions as to the fiscal problems but will take decades to deal with & my fellow Americans won’t like the fact that they cannot any longer vote themselves bread & circuses.

Slowly raise SS retirement ages (65 for early retirement – 70 for full retirement – maybe for folks born after 1975 or some similar date; slowly raise Medicare age to 67 or 68 as well; uncap the SS earnings, require some Medicare payments to be made by the receipant (needs based, etc); AND CUT SPENDING…lots of garbage at ALL levels in the Federal budgets – cut it back – do not pass any spending bills UNLESS it can be funded fully & completely via tax revenues, whatever they might be – NO MORE BORROWING.

Just Saying..

January 24th, 2013
12:43 pm

“Take a good hard look at diane feistein’s gun ban legislation because this is the last time you’ll ever see it.”

Doing well on your predictions, Mitt?
Oh right, that’s just his Aesop talking…

Kyle Wingfield

January 24th, 2013
12:47 pm

getalife @ 11:59: Obama wanted the ceiling raised for a year or even four years, so you could equally say he “caved.”

I think the terrain is much more favorable now for what Republicans want to do.

Poilitico

January 24th, 2013
12:47 pm

Kyle

If this move is as well planned as the Sandy vote that they split so they could get a short term pr win, but ultimately passed, we will see if it was a cave or good strategy.

Logical Dude

January 24th, 2013
12:48 pm

Kyle: The question now is whether we’ll get the sequester, some other kind of cuts (preferably the kind that address the long-term solvency of entitlements), or whether the House GOP will lose its nerve.

I also hope that common-sense cuts are made, retirement age raised to link to life expectancy, and huge cuts to defense.
Of course, some people don’t think those cuts are common sense, but they’re a good start at the very least.

the red herring

January 24th, 2013
12:53 pm

paul ryan is correct—spending cuts must take place— america should get it’s house in order and begin a reasonable approach to getting back to a balanced budget. this is unpopular with democrats as they wish to buy votes with tax dollars but it should be very popular with taxpayers. The taxpayer if picking up the tab on all this largesse and simply put we can’t afford it. Overspending and wasteful spending is what keeps america borrowing about 37 to 40 cents of every dollar we spend. now just how stupid is that? The states should be handling their education and energy issues—that’s two entire federal agencies that we could live without. We should rein in the EPA and make it a 1/3 democrat–1/3 republican–1/3 independent committee –stop all the far left “let’s save this lizard and prevent these mean old nasty farmers from irrigating”.

barking frog

January 24th, 2013
12:53 pm

GDRLA
Slowly raise SS retirement ages (65 for early retirement – 70 for full retirement –
……………………………………………………………………………………………….
The longer people remain in the work force the less opportunity available
for younger folks.

md

January 24th, 2013
12:54 pm

“Actually, Obama is playing for checkmate 2014 and the Republicans
are “pawning’ their future for publicity.”

Well, Obama has the weaker hand…..continued spending which will need more tax increases and the rich have already been raised. Get ready, if he wins you lose………..

barking frog

January 24th, 2013
12:57 pm

md
Well, Obama has the weaker hand…..continued spending which will need more tax increases and the rich have already been raised. Get ready, if he wins you lose………..
………………………………………………………………………………..
Altruism is not always logical but it is necessary in a just society..

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

January 24th, 2013
1:02 pm

The Dems do not think we have a spending problem or that the deficit is too big. They think we just haven’t raised taxes enough to cover all their utopian dreams. As long as they continue to cover their ears and whistle past the graveyard of debt that they have created for our children and grandchildren, this thing is not going to be solved. It takes two willing partners to negotiate on fixing a problem, and they both have to agree on what the problem is. The Dems, with their incessant talk of more revenue, are not even on board with what the problem is.

The only thing the GOP can do is just let the sequestration happen. We now have a pacifist/appeaser Sec of State nominee and a President not interested in foreign affairs, so what good is it trying to fight them over DOD cuts. The other half of the sequestration cuts are necessary anyway, so let the Dems stew in the sauce they cooked up. We can rebuild the DOD, for the fourth or fifth time, in my lifetime, after we get the GOP back in charge of things.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

January 24th, 2013
1:03 pm

Hey progs, if SS is self-funding, as you (sometimes) claim, why remove the cap on taxable earnings?

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

January 24th, 2013
1:04 pm

I intended to say Sec of Defense nominee, although both State and Defense nominees are pacifist/appeasers.

md

January 24th, 2013
1:05 pm

All you Obama voters remember all the hoopla about the signing of the new Paygo bill in 2009?

And 4 years later we still have trillion dollar deficits………hmmmmm.

Thomas Heyward Jr

January 24th, 2013
1:05 pm

GOP focusing on spending cuts?
.
lol

Centrist

January 24th, 2013
1:06 pm

Obama and Democrats can’t face up to agreeing to spending cuts anywhere but defense. They reluctantly agreed to the sequestration mechanism, and will have to accept it like medicine while they and the media attempt to blame the bad taste on Republicans. It will be hard for the media to claim another “win” by Obama like his supposed “win” at moving tax increases from those earning $250K to $450K.

The actual spending cuts are necessary and good for our nation’s health. Democrats will attempt to protect their favorite fluff and “reduce essential services” as the President’s budget director said, but adjustments will reluctantly be made in the Spring. I doubt the House will lose its nerve.

md

January 24th, 2013
1:07 pm

“Altruism is not always logical but it is necessary in a just society..”

Just society? Define please……..

Does it include the individuals that choose to lead a simple life, with simple salaries and zero income taxes??

Matz

January 24th, 2013
1:11 pm

It’s amusing to read posts by people claiming to know what Democrats think, feel, and want, when it’s clear from the absurdity of their posts they’ve never stopped yammering their lame, right-wing stereotypes and parroted daily talking points long enough to ever actually LISTEN to a Democrat (if they even know one) in their lives. Mildly amusing, in a sad way, that is. Not HaHa! funny.

Tealiban Party

January 24th, 2013
1:13 pm

Why does Obama the Kenyan Soshulist Fascist anti-’Murika Dictator hate business and capitalism?

Stocks: Wilshire 5000, S&P make new highs
The broad Wilshire 5000 index, which tracks all stocks available for trade, hit an all-time high Thursday, the first major sign that the painful bear market of 2008 and 2009 has finally been undone.

Thanks largely to a powerful rally in shares of smaller companies, the Wilshire 5000 added 72.44, or 0.5%, to 15,842.65 Thursday, pushing it over its all-time high of 15,806.69 set Oct. 9, 2007.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2013/01/24/stocks-thursday-1-24/1860771/

bluecoat

January 24th, 2013
1:17 pm

Caved not a good term if either side shows some common sense in agreeing for the better or necessary.

barking frog

January 24th, 2013
1:17 pm

md
Just society? Define please……..
……………………………………………………………
I can’t define it but I know it when I see it…

barking frog

January 24th, 2013
1:20 pm

md
Does it include the individuals that choose to lead a simple life, with simple salaries and zero income taxes??
………………………………………………………………………………………….
A just society does but you do not always get everything you want….

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 24th, 2013
1:21 pm

Does it amaze anyone else that the liberals can hate capitalism with a purple passion and cheer on the stock market in the very next breath?

barking frog

January 24th, 2013
1:22 pm

Hey progs, if SS is self-funding, as you (sometimes) claim, why remove the cap on taxable earnings?
………………………………………………….
why not?

jconservative

January 24th, 2013
1:23 pm

I vote for the sequester going into effect. It is a done deal.

Will this enter into the equation? 14th Amendment, Section 4, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

January 24th, 2013
1:24 pm

Tealiban, get to the emergency room if your excitement for the Messiah lasts more than four hours.

Stocks are going up because of all the money we’re printing–it’s gotta go somewhere.

Tealiban Party

January 24th, 2013
1:27 pm

It’s amazing how all the retrogressives despise good economic news all because they don’t like the President of the United States.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

January 24th, 2013
1:27 pm

barking frog: why not?
——

Because you claim not to need it.

And because it isn’t your money. Your greed for other people’s property is disgustingly anti-American.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 24th, 2013
1:28 pm

I see that the liberals have made it easier to get around their little gun ban, instead of removing your bayonet lug, now you just rename your weapon.

This is not an AR-15, moron, it’s a XX37. So beat it.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

January 24th, 2013
1:28 pm

“I can’t define it but I know it when I see it…”

Much like bull excrement . . .

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

January 24th, 2013
1:29 pm

It’s not about your messiah, Tealiban. It’s about explaining reality to you low-information types.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 24th, 2013
1:31 pm

t party – Actually, the Conservatives know what “currency manipulation” means.

southpaw

January 24th, 2013
1:32 pm

I’ll hope for cuts, but predict that the GOP will cave–again. But then again, what do I know? I also predicted that Hillary wouldn’t remember anything when she faced the Senate. :”>

md

January 24th, 2013
1:32 pm

“Hey progs, if SS is self-funding, as you (sometimes) claim, why remove the cap on taxable earnings?
………………………………………………….
why not?”

Because there is a cap on both ends, but those calling for the removal of the front end cap never mention the back end cap.

southpaw

January 24th, 2013
1:34 pm

southpaw

January 24th, 2013
1:34 pm

I give up on the red-face emoticon.

barking frog

January 24th, 2013
1:40 pm

Your greed for other people’s property is disgustingly anti-American.
……………………………………………………………………………………….
Actually, disgustingly American…

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

January 24th, 2013
1:41 pm

They think we just haven’t raised taxes enough to cover all their utopian dreams.

Like two wars and a prescription drug plan giveaway to big pharma?

barking frog

January 24th, 2013
1:42 pm

Tiberius
Much like bull excrement . . .
……………………………………..
or the SCOTUS on obscenity which is applicable here…

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

January 24th, 2013
1:44 pm

Finn, Obozo made the prescription drug plan MORE expensive.

That’s some genius messiah you’ve got…

barking frog

January 24th, 2013
1:46 pm

md
Because there is a cap on both ends, but those calling for the removal of the front end cap never mention the back end cap.
……………………………………………………………………….
this really sounds like a personal problem, I should not be involved