Fox News ran a story Thursday morning announcing that on Wednesday, House Republicans voted down the President’s request for a hike in the debt ceiling
I was scratching my head trying to figure out why it was news that the people we send to Capitol Hill were doing what they promised to do when we sent them there.
Then I read the story.
Despite the heroic headline “House Votes Against Debt Increase” the vote was pretty pointless:
“The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to reject a request by President Obama to raise the debt ceiling -- a largely symbolic vote, since the Senate is expected to allow the debt ceiling hike…Despite Wednesday's vote, Obama would still have the authority to raise the debt limit unless the Senate follows suit. Even then, both chambers would likely need to muster a two-thirds majority in order to override a presidential veto. The Senate is expected to vote next week on the resolution, a senior Senate Democratic leadership aide told Fox News.”
To further add non-fuel to the non-fire, as the story goes on to say that under last year’s debt increase law (which the GOP leadership voted for) the ceiling was scheduled to go up anyway once we got close to maxing out the federal credit card.
So why the vote? Apparently it was an opportunity for Republican lawmakers to make a show of opposing the increase without actually stopping it, thus avoiding a default. And the requisite debate gave lawmakers a chance to blame the White House.
I’m not making excuses for the White House in terms of the debt, which has spiked dramatically on the President’s watch. You can blame the deficit he inherited, or you can blame his fiscal policies, or you can blame a combination of the two, if you want. That’s another column for another time.
What irks me is that this fall we heard “Cut Cap Balance!” and we have heard every candidate and incumbent wax rhapsodic about the debt and the burden it will be on our children and grandchildren-only to be treated to an elaborate piece of Washington D.C. kabuki in the form of a meaningless vote, apparently staged for the benefit of those of us will be going to the polls in November. I mean c’mon, did they think there weren’t going to be any reporters in the crowd when they voted?
This speaks to the heart of why conservatives are so sick and tired of the Marble Mafia.