Let me say first, I don’t trust politicians. Whether they have a D or an R after their names, their mission in life is self-perpetuation, not necessarily what is good for the country or even their districts. The Gang of 6’s proposal has been described as gangrene by Erik Erikson, never one to let temperance and moderation get in the way of a talking point.
He is one of several voices who want to tar and feather Mitch McConnell as well. My knee jerk reaction at first was similar, but then the more I read and think about it the more I think McConnell may be on to something. George Will is sold, at least.
Mitch McConnell’s proposal would require Obama to make three requests for additional debt-ceiling increases. Each time he would be required to recommend commensurate spending reductions. Concerning them, Congress would, of course, retain its constitutional power to do what it wishes.
Obama could muster sufficient Democratic votes (one-third plus one, in one house) to sustain his veto of Congress’s disapproval of his requests. But this would not enhance presidential power. Rather, McConnell’s proposal would put a harness on the president, tightly confining him within a one-time process.
Congressional primacy would be further enhanced by McConnell’s proposed special congressional committee. It would not be another commission; it would have no administration members or other outsiders. Its proposals would be unamendable, and would be voted on this year.
There’s a lot more in Will’s column for you to ponder. I like the totally Machiavellian way that it would force the Democrats to endorse Obama’s explicit raising of the ceiling. Basically, every three months from now until the election Obama would have to go way out on a really tiny limb and deliberately and openly raise the ceiling while at the same time making reductions on the expenditure side.
I think it was right for the Republicans to put the Cut, Cap and Balance bill in front of the Senate which lost 51 to 46.