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View Diary: Nancy Pelosi & House Dems Just Filed The Discharge Petition (215 comments)

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  •  Why is this significantly different from the (7+ / 0-)

    so-called "doomsday plan" where Republicans allow a vote on tax cuts for incomes under $250,000, let that pass, and do nothing else until after January 1, when they demand significant spending cuts in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling?  You know -- the scenario the White House called "entirely unacceptable."

    If this vote happens, it seems to me that the Democrats have initiated the "doomsday plan" for the Republicans.  

    •  I think this is significant because John (23+ / 0-)

      Boehner doesn't have to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.  We don't really know who leaked that bit of info.  It could have been someone on our side who were trying to force Boehner's hand.  Anyway, the House GOP has pretty much obstructed for the last 4 years stealthily.  That was why the public blamed "both sides" for the gridlock in Washington.  President O and his team have learned how to fight these obstructionists and I'm hopeful now the republicans will pay a political price in 2014 for holding the middle class tax breaks hostage.  Also, if there is no deal and we fall back into a recession I hope the public blames the republicans for it.  No longer will the MSM be able to credibly and/or the public blame "both sides". As polls are currently showing the republicans will be blamed if there is no deal.  That in and of itself is progress.

      •  This addresses only those income tax rates for (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leema, VClib, LSophia

        income under $250,000, and not the payroll taxes or extension of unemployment insurance.

        And it means that after January 1, the Republicans will demand "entitlement reform" in order to raise the debt ceiling, and the President will no longer have the "increase tax rates on the rich" to bargain with, because he has that.  It puts the President in a position, after January 1, of having to compromise on entitlement cuts in order to get the debt ceiling raised.

        That's why the White House said this kind of a thing -- allowing the passing of the rates for income under $250,000 and doing  nothing else --  was "entirely unacceptable."

        •  President Obama is not running for (18+ / 0-)

          term 3.  He has stated emphatically that he will not allow the House GOP to hold the debt ceiling hostage.  I put money on it that he will invoke the 14th amendment:

          “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion,” the critical sentence says, “shall not be questioned.”
          •  You think the President will unilaterally raise (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mumtaznepal, Senor Unoball, VClib

            the debt ceiling?  You are counting on that?  

            I kind of doubt it.  Not after he put in his offer that Congress should authorize an unlimited debt ceiling, and not after he's made clear over and over that the debt ceiling has to be part of his deal with Congress.  That's an indication over and over that Congress has to authorize incurring more debt.  

            Article I, Section 8:  "The Congress shall have the power . . . to borrow money on the credit of the United States."

            The 14th Amendment says it refers to debt "authorized by law."  The debt heretofore "authorized by law" has a limit on it, and debt above that limited has not been "authorized by law." That's why the President is negotiating with Congress to "authorize by law" more debt.  

            I know some scholars have mused as to whether the President can unilaterally do this.  Scholarly arguments are easily made, but it is a mistake to assume that, because someone makes a scholarly argument, that settles things.  I wouldn't count on this President to be the first in history to try to unilaterally authorize more debt on behalf of the United States.  Doing so just might cause what other scholars refer to as a "constitutional crisis" over whether he's exceeded his constitutional authority and whether he's usurped the constitutional power of Congress.  And scholarly arguments one way or the other don't tell you how that would turn out.  

            I don't think the President wants that battle as part of his legacy, whether he ultimately wins it or not.

            •  Of course he did that...he is laying the ground (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Senor Unoball, blueoasis, ColoTim

              work for having to invoke the 14th but only if it is absolutely necessary.  

            •  I think you're missing something a little subtle (7+ / 0-)

              here.

              Getting an extension of the lower tax rates on incomes under $250,000 now, changes the dynamic of a later engagement involving the statutory debt limit contingent on spending cuts.

              With the extension of the under $250,000 tax rates out of the way, how do the Republicans negotiate the debt ceiling.  They can't make themselves appear benevolent with it like they could with the tax cuts. If they think they can, I'd like to see them try it.

              When Republicans offer the debt ceiling and their asking price is entitlement cuts, it's an ultimatum, not a negotiation.  How exactly would the Republicans even announce their terms.  The Democrats can remain silent and they can expect a rise in the debt ceiling because anything else is unthinkable.  Let the Republicans threaten to harm this country's financial position to achieve their unpopular goal.  And then let them face the consequences.

              "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

              by leftreborn on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:00:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You forget that Nancy is unlikely (5+ / 0-)

              to be doing anything without talking to Obama first.  We have to stop thinking in pre-2008 terms.  He's got the message, he has the backup, he's got a lot of people working with him.  Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi aren't outsiders inventing things to do, they're part of the new Team Democratic, the one that fights back.

              I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

              by I love OCD on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:23:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Congress authorizes the debt w/ appropriations (0+ / 0-)

              At least how I understand the argument is that Congress passes bills with monetary obligations so the debt is already "authorized by law", and the President is obligated by the 14th Amendment to pay that debt.

              Wherever you come down in the scholarly debate on the text, this is essentially and very practically a political question -- can the President rally decisive political support for ordering Treasury to sell bonds sufficient to cover debt already voted by Congress, and thereby maintain the U.S.'s good credit OR can the Congressional Republican Leadership turn opinion against the President while destroying our nation's good faith & credit?  That's the question.

              And, if memory serves, after the 2011 brouhaha over the debt ceiling, there were leaks and trial balloons coming out of the White House that the "lessons learned" included an acceptance of going to the 14th Amendment solution rather than caving in to extortion if there was a repeat of the hostage-taking.

              I think the New Obama will call Boehner & McConnell out with the Constitution as a trump card -- explicitly -- if they force a showdown on the debt ceiling again.

        •  I will bet you a nickel, shiny and new (22+ / 0-)

          that Nancy coordinated this with the White House, right down to the timing and the first sponsors on the list.

          Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

          by blue aardvark on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 10:39:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  They can demand all they want (16+ / 0-)

          This move forces the Republicans to go on record that they don't support  tax cuts for the first $250,000 of income, which covers 98% of the population because they want to insist on tax cuts for the top 2%.

          If it passes, working-class people won't see the income taxes taken out of their paycheck rise after the new year.

          It puts the President and House Democrats in a position of power since now they've fractured the GOP House caucus and Pelosi would be in an extremely powerful position.  It only strengthens the President's negotiating position because if Boehner won't play ball Obama can just say that he'll get Pelosi to go around him.  

          I don't know why you think it weakens the President's position, even the attempt at this by Pelosi is a win for Democrats and if she can get to 218 and pass her bill it's game over for Boehner and the House GOP caucus.

          [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

          by rabel on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 10:40:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not "income <$250,000" first $250K of income (6+ / 0-)

          the difference is signficant.

          The right has been selling this as a tax increase on the rich.

          In fact, high earners would get the same tax cut as everyone else; continued reduction in income tax on the the first $250,000 of taxable income.

          So, if your taxable income is 300,000, you get the low Obama rate on the first $250,000 and the higher rate on the last $50,000.

          Not sure why the Dems aren't pushing that meme harder.

        •  Obnama says "Pass theSenate bill, I'll sign it, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, LilithGardener, LSophia

          I have a pen." and pulls a pen out of his pocket.

          You might be right about the negotiating position but passing this is the very thing he has been publicly urging. He did that at the White House and then went to PA and said/did the same thing
          Says that is the part they agree on, so pass it.

        •  He has a lot of cards to play with because (0+ / 0-)

          the 'cliff' also includes increasing axes on cap gains to about 25 percent, the sequester goes on, payroll taxes go back on which employers have to pay half of, the estate tax is back up to the old days when smaller estates were taxed, AMT is not fixed, etc. And the Rs still have to explain why they did not do disaster relief after Sandy, an ag bill, the Post Office bill, etc etc etc, each of which has an R constituencywhich will not have been served. And the only R card is one which will drive ALL of their various Wall Street supporters berserk. Forget what foreign nations will do since this R party is acutely nativist.

          And there has been terrible talk about a lawsuit to bust the debt ceiling law anyway, which would be triggered by this, since the things sending the country over the ceiling were passed by the same Rs trying now to make sure that those obligations are not paid when due, Constitution be hanged.

    •  Because it becomes our idea, not theirs (6+ / 0-)

      And then they either have to admit that these tax increases will significantly reduce the deficit, which will cause Ronald Reagan to spin in his grave, or claim we need to do quite a bit more ... and propose the cuts.

      Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

      by blue aardvark on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 10:37:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with Rs sticking us with the idea is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark

        that we are delighted to have Rs stick us with the idea up to a quarter mil in taxable income. To have Dems alone take credit for something protecting themiddle class and all those newly elected Rs standing there voting 'present'. Doing no-thing.

    •  Maybe because it doesn't mention spending cuts (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball, LSophia, mamamedusa

      and debt ceiling?

      Help a Milwife win the Photobucket contest - Please Share, Like, and Comment, not necessarily in that order!

      by angelajean on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 10:54:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It shreds their tactic of claiming that no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LSophia

      agreement was possible because the president wouldn't negotiate.

      They thought they could pretend to negotiate and complain that the president was out campaigning, when Obama goes out and speaks to the public about the bill.

      •  In the doomsday scenario, how do they plan to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        pass off refusing to act on literally everything as the president not negotiating. You can't negotiate with people who have already agreed among themselves that they will not negotiate or participate in anything at all until the Debt ceiling comes up.

        •  They've been getting away with it for 2 years - (0+ / 0-)

          They'll lie, the way Grover Norquist is already doing, complaining that the Republicans can't negotiate by themselves because POTUS is not in Washington, and is still campaigning, even though he won the election.

    •  Is the Rethug "Doomsday" plan Boehner's exit? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO

      Seems that if this discharge petition works, it in a very real way puts Pelosi back in charge of the House agenda.  It will look like Boehner and his so-called "leadership team" stepping aside to let Nancy Pelosi run the significant legislation through the House.

      If Nancy can hold her caucus together and find a couple of handfuls of Republicans to tag along, might she just get used to running the House without the gavel for a couple of years?

      Science fiction, I know, but kinda fun to fantasize it out.

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