About Me

My photo
This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Debt Denouement -- Review & Outlook, The Wall Street Journal

It's time to wrap up this comedy of political errors. 

The Beltway budget melodrama rolls on to its predictable and dreary end, with both sides now split over increasingly small differences. None of this is worth a partial government shutdown, much less the risk of a debt default, and both sides are looking like losers. Let's get it over with.

As we went to press Tuesday night, Republican leaders in the House had abandoned a plan to pass a debt-increase bill that was nearly identical to the one that Senate leaders agreed to on Monday. The main differences were funding the government only through December 15, rather than January 15 in the Senate bill, and a provision to require Members of Congress and their staff to live by ObamaCare's subsidies.

None of that was enough to please the small band of 20 or so House conservatives who have been all but running the House since this fiasco began. They refused to support House Speaker John Boehner and even Budget Chairman Paul Ryan. Another 30 or so Members were tired of getting kicked around by Heritage Action and Senator Ted Cruz and want the whole thing settled. With Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi keeping her troops in line for a no vote, GOP leaders pulled the bill from the floor.

The conservatives thus undermined whatever small leverage the House GOP had left. Without a united majority of 218 votes, Republicans might as well hand the Speaker's gavel to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. Senate leaders announced immediately that they would resume negotiating to finish a deal that they would bring to the floor as early as Wednesday.

We should add that House Republicans also blundered in refusing to accept the Senate proposal to delay a reinsurance tax of about $60 a year per insured person. Democrats originally passed this tax to help float ObamaCare's exchanges. Insurers pay the per capita fee, which they can pass along to consumers in higher premiums, and the fee goes to a fund that then pays back the insurers if they end up with a mix of patients with higher than average claims.

 (Click link below to read more)
READ MORE Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment