Speaker Boehner, Please Stop Saying 'How High?'
The debt crisis is driving me nuts. It's not the intractability of either side that is responsible for my craziness. It's the inability of the House Republicans to put forth their message that is making me crazy.
Consider, the House has passed two budget proposals intended to deal with the debt. The first, the Cantor-initiated legislation, passed and went to the Senate only to "die in committee." The Senate didn't have the courage to allow a vote. The second, the Cut Cap and Balance bill was passed in the House and, yes, again, "died in committee" in the Senate, again, avoiding a floor vote. (Here's a great simple discussion of the congressional legislative process:.)
This is not a surprise. There are twenty one Democrat Senators that are up for re-election in 2012 and none of them want to be on record as having voted to increase our debt. So, Harry Reid is allowing his Democrat members to avoid having a voting record on the debt by making sure the bills never get out of committee and to the Senate floor.
Here's my dilemma. The House has passed two bills related to the debt ceiling. The Senate has yet to submit a counter proposal in writing. All of their proposals, including the President's have been verbal, which even the CBO says they can't score. Why then does the House continue to try to scramble to put together legislation that doesn't have a chance of passing in the Senate? The Democrats are making the Republicans look like idiots by saying, "Jump!" and the House Republicans keep responding by saying "How high?"
Speaker Boehner: please stop trying to draft any further legislation. Change two words in the Cut Cap and Balance bill and re-send it to the Senate. Then dismiss the House members and tell them that you'll call them back when the Senate has submitted a response for consideration. Period. And make sure that every single Republican emphasizes that they have done their job and the Senate Democrats have not. They still haven't put anything in writing! Shout that from the rooftops! Stop playing nice and start saying it like it is.
There. I feel better now.