When it comes the Republicans’ debt-ceiling crisis, President Obama has been eager, arguably too eager, to compromise with GOP leaders. The White House has, however, been entirely consistent on one key request: whatever the final deal looks like, it has to raise the debt ceiling through the end of next year. Everything else is on the table.
The latest plan from House Republicans, however, ignores this one demand. House Speaker John Boehner wants one debt-ceiling vote this week, and then wants the country to go through all of this again early next year. President Obama, not surprisingly, has said this just won’t do.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is outraged.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor indicated in his remarks during the conference call that Republicans don’t want to give President Barack Obama a debt-ceiling deal that lasts past the 2012 elections. Mr. Cantor called the president’s insistence on a deal that carries through the election purely political and indefensible.
What’s interesting about this is that Cantor has long believed the exact opposite. Judd Legum noted that as recently as last month, the oft-confused Majority Leader insisted there should be just one vote on the debt ceiling in this Congress. He dismissed those who argued otherwise as misguided.
To review, when Cantor wants one vote, it’s sensible. When Obama wants the exact the same thing, it’s “political and indefensible.”
Indeed, as it turns out, it’s not just Cantor. The lynchpin of Boehner’s new plan — one vote now, one vote early next year — is an idea several GOP leaders in both chambers have already said they oppose, at least until Boehner switched gears. Did all of these Republicans take an “indefensible” position, or does this only apply to Democrats?
This is pretty straightforward. Forcing two votes is bad for the economy, it’s bad for Congress as an institution, it’s bad for lawmakers, and it’s even bad for public sanity. Worse, it’s totally unnecessary.
So, here’s the question for Republicans: why was forcing the country to go through this twice an awful idea in June, but a great idea that Obama has to accept in July?