Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has proposed creating an escape hatch for Congressional Republicans, who have put themselves in a box by threatening not to raise the national debt limit if Democrats don't agree to trillions of dollars in cuts to popular social programs.Please Mr Socialist, take care of our economy for us! And while you're at it, please rewrite Obamacare! And give more money to the automakers! WE NEED TO BLAME YOU FOR IT!
The plan would require Congress to pass a bill allowing Obama to raise the debt limit on his own, contingent on a series of steps: Obama would have to notify Congress of his intent tor raise the debt limit -- a high-sign to Congress that would be subject to an official censure known as a "resolution of disapproval," and which Obama could veto. If he vetoed the resolution, and if Congress sustained the veto, then Obama would also have to outline a series of hypothetical spending cuts he'd make, equal to the amount of new debt authority he'd give himself. Only then would the Treasury be allowed to issue new debt.
McConnell proposes rolling out this process in three tranches, to force Obama to request more borrowing authority, and to force debt limit votes in Congress, repeatedly through election season.
Here's how McConnell explained it at his weekly Capitol press conference:
"The way it would work is the legislation would authorize him to get to the amount he says he needs based upon the advice of his Secretary of the Treasury in three tranches: The first tranche, $700 billion, the second tranche $900 billion, the third tranche $900 billion.
Once the request is made it would be appropriate in either or both houses for a resolution of disapproval to be taken up on an expedited procedure. If that expedited procedure in both the House and the Senate -- if the resolution of disapproval achieved a majority -- it would go down to him where he could either sign it or veto it. My assumption is he would veto it. And that veto would be sustained by one-third-plus-one in either of the houses."