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Biden & McCarthy Will Both Tell Their Bases Their Hands Were Forced By The Default Cliff

Biden Alone Could Have Prevented That-- But Chose Not To

The White House has been telling progressives to stop yammering about the 14th Amendment— President Nothing Fundamental Will Chance ain’t usin’ it. He’s assigned corrupt corporate lobbyist— and close top aide— Steve Ricchetti to cut a deal with the Freedom Caucus (fronted by McCarthy) that screws working families and protects the billionaire class. The 14th Amendment is off the table, no matter how extreme the Republicans get (are). If you expected anything else from Biden… you haven’t been paying any attention for the last 5 decades... yes 50 disgusting years of corporate Joe in politics.

Anyway, the Congressional Progressive Caucus— though not all of them— are calling on Biden to “to prepare to invoke his constitutional authority granted in the 14th Amendment to uphold the full faith and credit of the United States and end Republican hostage taking of the economy that could trigger a financial catastrophe.” They sent him a letter on Friday, signed by 66 of them.

They urged him to “fulfill the Executive’s Constitutional duty to faithfully and impartially administer the funds already enacted by law at the direction of Congress,” citing the clause which states “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred…shall not be questioned.”

The lawmakers sent the letter “in light of unremitting efforts by Congressional Republicans to hold the economic health of our nation hostage.” The Republicans’ framework imposes “drastic cuts,” and could take jobs from 780,000 people, nutrition assistance from 1.2 million women, infants, and children, Medicaid coverage from up to 21 million Americans, rental assistance from 640,000 families, and more, the lawmakers warn. “Surrendering to these extremist demands also sets a dangerous precedent that emboldens Republicans to pursue additional, anti-democratic hostage taking, particularly after their having been told previously that a clean debt-ceiling increase was nonnegotiable,” they write.
The members also emphasize the clear legal authority for the President to raise the debt ceiling under the 14th Amendment. “If the options are either agreeing to major cuts to domestic priorities under the Republican threat of destroying the economy and moving forward to honor America’s debts, we join prominent legal scholars, economists, former budget officials, and a former president in advocating for invoking the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.”
They conclude by urging the President to prepare to invoke the Constitution’s 14th Amendment “rather than acceding to bad-faith Republican attempts to harm our hard-fought economic recovery, reverse the climate progress of this administration, impose painful, burdensome, and ineffective new work requirements for recipients of [public assistance programs], and slash essential federal programs that lift up millions of Americans.”

Members who signed it are Pramila Jayapal (WA), Ilhan Omar (MN), Greg Casar (TX), Becca Balint (VT-AL), Nanette Barragán (CA), Earl Blumenauer (OR), Suzanne Bonamici (OR), Jamaal Bowman (NY), Cori Bush (MO), André Carson (IN), Matt Cartwright (PA), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL), Judy Chu (CA), David Cicilline (RI), Yvette Clarke (NY), Steve Cohen (TN), Danny Davis (IL), Madeleine Dean (PA), Rosa DeLauro (CT), Veronica Escobar (TX), Adriano Espaillat (NY), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL), John Garamendi (CA), Jesús "Chuy" García (IL), Robert Garcia (CA), Sylvia Garcia (TX), Daniel Goldman (NY), Jimmy Gomez (CA), Raúl Grijalva (AZ), Val Hoyle (OR), Jared Huffman (CA), Jonathan Jackson (IL), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Hank Johnson, Jr. (GA), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA), Ro Khanna (CA), Barbara Lee (CA), Summer Lee (PA), Morgan McGarvey (KY), James McGovern (MA), Grace Meng (NY), Gwen Moore (WI), Jerrold Nadler (NY), Grace Napolitano (CA), Donald Norcross (NJ), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Chellie Pingree (ME), Mark Pocan (WI), Katie Porter (CA), Ayanna Pressley (MA), Delia Ramirez (IL), Jamie Raskin (MD), Janice Schakowsky (IL), Melanie Stansbury (NM), Mark Takano (CA), Shri Thanedar (MI), Rashida Tlaib (MI), Jill Tokuda (HI), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Ritchie Torres (NY), Juan Vargas (CA), Nydia Velázquez (NY), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ), Nikema Williams (GA) and Frederica Wilson (FL).

Jamie Raskin (D-MD), constitutional scholar: "It's unfamiliar to people because no Congress has come close to driving us off the default cliff the way that Speaker McCarthy has, but I've just wanted to emphasize that there's a constitutional structure to this problem: section four of the 14th Amendment, that says that the validity of the public debt shall not be questioned. [The 14th amendment acts as] "an operations manual for how the president should respond to extortion and threats by a faction of Congress... The question is whether anybody could sue the government for actually meeting the constitutional command by making payments to the creditors of the United States, bondholders, and Social Security recipients. I'm not sure anybody would even have standing to get into court, and I imagine that the court would consider the whole thing a political question within the province of the executive branch to work out with Congress. There's a binding legal requirement to pay bondholders, there's a binding legal requirement to pay Social Security and Medicare recipients. So the president can't violate those statutory directives, nor can he violate the constitutional command. So a debt limit statute that purports to compel the president to violate the law in the Constitution is of dubious legality."

The 35 Caucus members who didn’t sign begins with a list of 14 New Dems who, for one reason or another, are also members of the Progressive Caucus: Shontel Brown (New Dem-OH, pictured with her campaign benefactor to the right), Jimmy Panetta (New Dem-CA), Don Beyer (New Dem-VA), Sara Jacobs (New Dem-CA), Lisa Blunt Rochester (New Dem-DE), Adam Smith (New Dem-WA), Mary Gay Scanlon (New Dem-PA), Steven Horsford (New Dem-NV), Troy Carter (New Dem-LA), Andrea Salinas (New Dem-OR), Darren Soto (New Dem-FL), Lori Trahan (New Dem-MA), Brendan Boyle (New Dem-PA), Valerie Foushee (New Dem-NC), Frank Palone (NJ), Zoe Lofgren (CA), Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM), Kweisi Mfume (MD), Chris Deluzio (PA), Ted Lieu (CA), Alma Adams (NC), Maxine Waters (CA), Ruben Gallego (AZ), Mike Levin (CA), Linda Sanchez (CA), Brad Sherman (CA), Jasmine Crockett (TX), Debbie Dingell (MI), Diana DeGette (CO), Mark DeSaulnier (CA), Dwight Evans (PA), Andy Kim (NJ), Joe Neguse (CO), Lois Frankel (FL) and Lloyd Doggett (TX).

Yesterday, Burgess Everett and Sarah Ferris spoke with Tim Kaine (D-VA) who told them that during the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency, “if Democrats had tried to hike the debt limit before the House GOP swept into a majority, even Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) might have gone along with it. But Biden’s party never moved on the issue. And six months later, Democrats are stuck doing exactly what they said they wouldn’t— negotiating on the debt ceiling with Republicans.”

Many progressives are at a loss over how the party ended up here, having slowly reversed a stance that they wouldn’t haggle with the GOP over the debt limit, after deciding not to even attempt a party-line debt hike last year.
The frustration is evident in the rising number of congressional Democrats who are urging Biden to use the legally questionable path of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment to try a debt hike, rather than concede to McCarthy. The Democratic leeriness is acute enough to raise the possibility of a liberal revolt when a bill comes to the House and Senate floor.
“Why are we negotiating?” fumed Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), urging Biden to pull out of the talks entirely. “It’s just very frustrating that we have backed ourselves into this corner.”
…Bowman is one of many progressives worried that the president’s talks with McCarthy will embolden the House GOP as it seeks big concessions. Democratic leaders have tried to steady the ship with linguistic jiu jitsu, asserting that the budget negotiation is separate from the debt ceiling— which means the party has not backslid on its no-negotiations position.
…House progressives— who make up a bloc of roughly 100 members [I just counted 66]— insist it’s too risky to rely on McCarthy to deliver the votes on the cusp of a default. And they refuse to be taken for granted.
“It’d be enormously foolish to assume that even if you cut some dirty deal with Kevin McCarthy, that he delivers a whole bunch of Republican votes,” said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA).
Huffman added that Biden and Democratic leaders shouldn’t count on the Progressive Caucus to bail them out if they need liberal votes: “I don’t think we would.”
Progressive leaders were the ones most vocally calling for Democrats to tackle the debt crisis early last fall, when they had the power to do it on their own. The group’s leader, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), privately raised the issue in the waning days of 2022 with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to a person familiar with the discussion.
That would have required using an arduous budget maneuver to avoid the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, however, and top Democrats say they weren’t even close to deciding on that. Many Democrats wanted to try it, but ultimately the party shelved the idea due to Manchin’s reluctance as well as the cumbersome logistics it would entail. Plus, it was the holidays.
So, would Manchin have gone for a Democratic-only debt hike late last year? “You’re speculating about all this hypothetical shit,” he replied.
“It always needs to be bipartisan,” he said. “But when you can’t get a bipartisan [deal] or have any type of agreement at all? You’ve got to raise the debt ceiling.”


3 commentaires

21 mai 2023

after biden gives mccarthy everything he wants and more, he'll make that claim.

mccarthy will apologize to his people that he shoulda killed even more vets, poor and old people.

and y'all will vote for biden again in 18 months.

because... that's what stupid people do.


Who knows how much of this fiasco is Biden naturally gravitating to the one thing he perceives himself as being good at and how much of it is Biden doing the bidding of his political investors from FIRE. At this point, the best hope is that the GOP Hostage Taker Caucus won't take "yes" for an answer and the WH will ultimately be forced to use the 14A. In 2011, the GOP Hostage Taker Caucus saved Obama from himself by not taking "yes" for an answer on his eagerly pursued "Grand Bargain."

I've resigned myself to the fact that the donkey is incapable of doing much meaningful for itself on much anything that matters and that capitalizing on GOP failure…

21 mai 2023
En réponse à

yes. your democraps didn't give themselves Dobbs, but they DID give themselves a rancid 2022 slate of buckets of vomit, with voters doing as they were told, again and still, in the primaries of many of them.

biden is in a no-lose sitchie and you know it. he won't invoke the 14th no matter what because:

1) he's a pussy. always has been

2) it would give the nazis an issue to shriek about

He won't let the nazis have their default. He'll cave. prolly agree to give away sustenance for vets and elders and disableds and plenty more. obamanation's "grand bargain" that woulda killed thousands per year... only worse this time. might even throw in another tax cut …

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