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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.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The power to borrow and the power to go broke -- By Dean Clancy, The Washington Times

 (Illustration by Linas Garsys, The Washington Times)

Illustration by Linas Garsys for The Washington TimesOn Oct. 16, Congress gave President Obama a blank check. That's right. For the next three months, our chief executive will be able to increase the national debt as much as he wants, and as a practical matter, no one will be able to stop him.

A newly enacted law, H.R. 2775, temporarily suspends the U.S. government's statutory debt limit and shifts Congress' borrowing power to the president. This is a radical and unprecedented delegation of power that should trouble every American.

The only good news is the new law expires on Feb. 8.

The author of the little-noticed but awesome delegation of power was none other than the Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.

The "McConnell Mechanism," as The Washington Post's Ezra Klein has dubbed it, was quietly slipped into the debt ceiling bill with no public discussion or warning.

The device gives the president the ability to unilaterally increase the national debt while giving Congress a new, streamlined parliamentary procedure with which to try to block the move. If the president decides to borrow more money than Congress thinks acceptable, Congress can try to check him by passing a special "resolution of disapproval" using expedited procedures. If the resolution passes, the president can veto it. Congress can then override his veto, provided it can muster a two-thirds supermajority in each chamber — a very high bar.

Thanks to this mechanism, incumbent lawmakers can now cast a show vote to overturn a presidential debt hike, knowing that the attempt will almost certainly fail.

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