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Hullabaloo


Thursday, September 07, 2017

 
Trump troll of the week

by digby


If Trump can get Ryan and McConnell on board with this, it would be a Very Good Thing. But I'm not holding my breath:
President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) have agreed to pursue a deal that would permanently remove the requirement that Congress repeatedly raise the debt ceiling, three people familiar with the decision said.

Trump and Schumer discussed the idea Wednesday during an Oval Office meeting. The two, along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.), agreed to work together over the next several months to try to finalize a plan, which would need to be approved by Congress.

One of the people familiar described it as a “gentlemen’s agreement.”

“The president encouraged congressional leaders to find a more permanent solution to the debt ceiling so the vote is not so frequently politicized,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

With a deadline of Sept. 29 looming and Congress nearing their summer recess, the debt ceiling is primed to be a big issue when they return. Here's what you need to know. (Video: Meg Kelly/Photo: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
The three people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the meeting.

Another person familiar with the meeting said Vice President Pence is open to changes he considers in line with the “Gephardt Rule” — a parliamentary rule making it easier to tie raising the debt ceiling with Congress passing a budget. The rule is named after former House majority leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.).

The deal comes after Trump sided with Democratic leaders Wednesday on a plan to temporarily raise the debt ceiling and fund hurricane relief, rejecting a Republican plan and vexing many in his party.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said at a news conference Thursday that he opposes scrapping the debt-limit process.

“I won’t get into a private conversation that we had [at the White House], but I think there’s a legitimate role for the power of the purse of the Article 1 powers, and that’s something we defend here in Congress.”

Article 1 of the Constitution sets up Congress’s powers, giving it the authority to write and pass legislation and appropriate government money.

The U.S. government spends more money than it brings in through taxes and fees, and it covers that gap by issuing debt to borrow money. The government can borrow money only up to a certain limit, known as the debt limit or the debt ceiling. The government routinely bumps up against this ceiling, requiring Congress to raise it again and again. These votes are often politicized and can cause panic among investors.

If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, investors have warned that the stock market could crash because the government could fall behind on its obligations if it isn’t allowed to borrow more money.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has suggested scrapping the existing debt-limit process and replacing it with one that automatically lifts the borrowing limit every time Congress appropriates future spending.

It remains to be seen if Trump's base will be more upset that he's canoodling with Chuck Schumer than Paul Ryan, but I think he's got enough juice with his cultists that they'll suddenly decide they believe bipartisanship again. They'll back him no matter what he does.

We'll see. Ryan and McConnell still have to agree to bring this stuff to floor and I could see Bannon and the Freedom Caucus boys pushing them from the opposite direction, Democrats fighting among themselves about resistance and Trump remains above the fray.

I'd give this a 1% chance of actually happening but you never know ...

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