Political Animal

Blog

January 15, 2013 5:30 PM “McConnell Provision” Redux

By Ed Kilgore

At WaPo Jonathan Capehart has drawn attention to the president’s pointed revival of the “McConnell Provision” as a procedure for resolving the debt limit impasse, and Greg Sargent has drawn attention to the possibility of Republicans going along.

The McConnell Provision, as you may recall, was a temporary procedure accompanying the 2011 debt limit agreement that enabled the president to increase the debt limit subject to a resolution of congressional disapproval (itself subject to a presidential veto). In effect it shifted the threshold for a debt limit increase favored by the president from a majority to one-third-plus of each House. Then as now it enabled Republicans to put the onus of the debt limit increase on Obama, and then gave them a safe way to vote against it.

If a significant number of congressional Republicans are willing to go along with an obscure method of disguising a skid-greasing exercise, it could work. With Democrats anxious to get a debt limit increase without major substantive concessions, it won’t take that many GOPers willing to play ball.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • blah on January 15, 2013 5:44 PM:

    And the Cowardly Lions of the Legislative cede yet another bit of power to the Executive, which never gives it back.

    I think of Nixon, or the Reagan White House (the guy himself being a bit vacant), and I shudder instinctively.

    Still, okay. This is a stupid thing, it should just be abolished, so who cares where it goes? And if it defangs the Teahadists, even a little, then fine.

    But still, the spinelessness...

  • emjayay on January 15, 2013 7:31 PM:

    Some stupid Republican congresswoman was just on NPR talking about the debt limit. They tried, but after she blamed the biggest deficits ever on Obama (the president originates and authorizes spending?),NPR failed to point out that this was during the worst economic crash since the Depression when tax receipts are therefore way off and there are huge economic problems to address, Bush II ran up the debt about as much after 3 years of Clinton surpluses during normal economic times and that Reagan tripled the existing deficit under OK economic times etc. Not that any facts would have fazed her.

  • emjayay on January 15, 2013 8:36 PM:

    Some stupid Republican congresswoman was just on NPR talking about the debt limit. They tried, but after she blamed the biggest deficits ever on Obama (the president originates and authorizes spending?),NPR failed to point out that this was during the worst economic crash since the Depression when tax receipts are therefore way off and there are huge economic problems to address, Bush II ran up the debt about as much after 3 years of Clinton surpluses during normal economic times and that Reagan tripled the existing deficit under OK economic times etc. Not that any facts would have fazed her.

  • emjayay on January 15, 2013 9:00 PM:

    You see, I put in the Captcha and went away and there my origiginal comment was with a new Captcha so I put another one in. Then that happened.

  • boatboy_srq on January 15, 2013 11:41 PM:

    Has anyone mentioned yet that "tax and spend" equals raising the revenue to pay for debt and expenditures, but "cut cap and balance" does not? One good reason we have deficits under Dem presidents with a substantial-minority-or-better GOP Congress is that you can never get Congressional GOPers to pay for anything. Oh, and Shrub was a spendthrift twerp with a sweet tooth for guns and big biz - and no idea that those things cost money.

    I have no problem with Teahadists whinging about "debt." I know it's a flawed, inappropriate comparison, but you hear families in debt whine about it constantly. Those families, though, don't usually take lower-paying jobs as a means of paying that debt down. Earth to Teahad: whe the debt is high, ask for a raise, not a salary cut.