by Mark Moore
It turns out the debt ceiling vote contained a provision to take away from Congress it’s power to approve future increases to the debt ceiling! Under the new deal, Obama can raise the debt ceiling without the approval of Congress. Instead of having to get the approval of Congress for an increase in the debt ceiling, they would vote to disapprove such an increase by Obama, which Obama can then veto. If they fail to override the veto, the increase in the debt ceiling would occur automatically.
The political effect of such a change is that the majority of Congress can pretend to be against an increase in the debt ceiling while going along with the alteration in the rules that allows it to happen. All of our Arkansas federal delegation voted for this farce.
Now we can look forward to Boozman, Womack and company setting up a February stage performance in which they vote against approving an increase in the debt ceiling. They will then posture and preen about what fiscal conservatives they are, all the while knowing they have set it up so that they can get credit back home for a “no” vote whilst actually enabling the debt slavery to continue.
This is theatre, not governance, and that they would even vote for a stunt like this illustrates the profound contempt our entire Arkansas federal delegation holds for you and me. I don’t have a problem with that part, because the feeling is quickly becoming mutual. The part I object to is my kids being made into debt slaves. Meanwhile, come February I fear they will use this scheme to dishonestly harvest the votes of decent people by fraudulently claiming to be fiscal conservatives.
Because our candidate selection system is so broken we may not be able to hold these men accountable for their policies, or their deceit, this cycle, but we can surely extend our reach to the state legislature and build from there. That is why I encourage you to investigate Neighbors of Arkansas. It’s not a new party, its a new way.
PS- Here is a link to the bill, the provision in question begins about page 24-25: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/16/read-heres-the-bill-that-will-end-the-government-shutdown/