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Right Turn
Posted at 03:17 PM ET, 07/12/2011

McConnell’s debt disapproval plan

As I reported earlier, Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is suggesting n alternative to the stalemated debt-ceiling talks. His debt disapproval plan works like this, according to information provided to Right Turn:

• The initial legislation would authorize the President to submit a request to Congress asking to increase the debt limit by $700 billion and would require submission of a plan to reduce spending by a greater amount.
• Upon receipt of the President’s request, the debt limit would be provisionally increased by $100 billion to provide breathing room and avert an August 2nd default.
• The House and Senate would have 15 days to disapprove of the request.
• Within three days of the President’s request, it would be in order for the House and Senate to introduce a joint resolution disapproving of the President’s request.
• Under expedited consideration of the Resolution of Disapproval, the resolution would be placed directly on the Senate calendar; the Motion to Proceed to the resolution would be privileged; there would be 10 hours of debate and passage would require a simple majority.
• If either chamber defeats the resolution, the remaining $600 billion increase would be allowed.
• If both chambers pass the resolution, it would be sent to the President for a veto or signature.
• If vetoed, debate on an override would be limited to one hour.
• If the veto is overridden (which would require a 2/3 vote) in both chambers, then the request would be denied and the provisional $100 billion increase revoked.
• If the veto is sustained in either chamber, the remaining $600 billion increase would be allowed.

This process would then be repeated for two future installments. After that, there will be second and third requests in fall 2011 and summer 2012. “The President could request an increase of the debt limit by $900 billion once the Treasury Department determines that the country is within $100 billion of the debt limit. The President would also be required to submit a plan to reduce spending by a greater amount. Each of these subsequent requests would be subject to the same disapproval process outlined above.”

What does this do? It shifts the onus to the president to put up the cuts he wants. Moreover, it puts the Senate Democrats in a tough bind. Do they vote against this if there is no grand bargain, filibustering a mechanism that would avoid default? Having failed to present their own budget, Senate Democrats are now on the spot. As for that White House meeting today, I imagine the White House will be none to pleased. Put up or shut up, they are being told. That might not sit well when the modus operandi has been to offer virtually no immediate cuts in private and spout platitudes (peas!) in public.

By  |  03:17 PM ET, 07/12/2011

Categories:  2012 campaign, Budget, Senate Republicans

 
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