Republicans Don't Want a Debt Default—Just Democratic Chaos

www.thedailybeast.com
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Republicans are holding a bizarre position: They would like the government to raise the debt ceiling, but they want Democrats to do it for them while they stand in the way.
As the U.S. reaches its limit for borrowing money, both Democrats and Republicans say they have no interest in seeing the federal government default on its debt. It's just that Republicans believe they have no responsibility to vote in favor of legislation to avoid a default—and believe they should do everything in their power to block it.

According to a new report from Moody's Analytics, if the U.S. defaults on its debt, the results could be catastrophic: six million jobs lost, a doubling of the unemployment rate, and millions of eviscerated retirement accounts.

That could happen within a month if Congress doesn't act. Republicans are just as aware of that risk as Democrats. So their near-uniform opposition to extending the so-called debt ceiling is putting the GOP in a politically bizarre position: praying that the U.S. won't go over the cliff, but insisting it's not their problem to stop it.

"Don't look at me," said Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a hardcore fiscal conservative. "You guys"—the Democrats—"control every lever. I don't even get a chance to offer an amendment on the floor of the House of Representatives. So they own it. It's all on them."

"They control the levers of the federal government, they own this, they can fix the problem themselves," said Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS).

The GOP, said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), has the "moral high ground" in this fight. Democrats, he maintained, "have the votes and the moral responsibility to pass it… whatever way they choose, as the governing majority in this place."

While Democrats do run Washington, in the evenly-split Senate, raising the debt ceiling would not garner the 60 votes needed to advance. And Senate Republicans have made clear they will not only oppose raising the debt ceiling but also filibuster the vehicle to do it.

For months, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said that Republicans would force Democrats to avert a default on a partisan basis, which would entail using a complicated…
Sam Brodey
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