Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Critical Next 48 Hours

As we near Thursday's debt ceiling cliff, the Senate is apparently close to a deal on re-opening the Government through January 15 and extending the debt ceiling to February 7.  The Rethuglicans would be required to join a Senate-House conference on the FY 2014 budget (something the Dems have been asking for since last spring), and there's some slim hope that the sequester numbers will yield to something more fair to working families.  As for the debt ceiling, the Teathuglican radicals have so alienated traditional Rethug backers like the Chamber of Commerce and Wall Street that they may not want to make the February 7 date another Waterloo for themselves.  A better path would have been to extend the debt ceiling date through the end of the fiscal year (September 30) and dare the wingnuts to play with it weeks before the elections.  Here's the New York Times' editorial on the state of play, and their wrap-up:
"Assuming the Senate reaches a deal on Tuesday, it would only go into effect if Speaker John Boehner allows it to go to a vote in the House. If he continues to cater to the Tea Party wing of his caucus, piling on new demands, the delay could be catastrophic — a 'rapidly spreading fatal disease,' as the co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank put it. The time to stop it has arrived."

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