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View Diary: Magic tricks, loopholes, government shutdowns and the debt ceiling (158 comments)

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  •  Nice article. Thanks. You are correct that the (12+ / 0-)

    continuing resolution (CR) is going to be the real fault line. The sequester is a very slow moving thing that most agencies can cope with easily for most of the year, if not longer. The R's are going to raise the debt limit with probably a majority vote of Ds an fifty or so Rs passing it.

    That leaves the CR which is the tried and true vehicle for Republican obstructionism. This time the Rs are really chastened and seem to understand their minority role unlike in the last Congress.

    One thing to point out is that this is well beyond the Hastert rule. That rule basically states that a bill will not be voted on unless a majority of Republicans support it. In the last Congress Boehner took that rule to a totally different level, saying that no bill would be voted on unless there were enough Republican votes to pass it without any Democratic support. That basically required virtually all of the Republicans to support the measure to be voted on.

    He has completely ditched that idea twice now in addition to breaking the Hastert rule since far fewer than a majority of Republicans voted on the Cliff Bill and the Sandy Bill. It will be interesting to see if he continues to bring bills to the floor that can only pass because of Democratic votes.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:37:58 AM PST

    •  Thanks (5+ / 0-)

      Hastert Rule and the CR/Sequester is where the rubber will meet the road.

    •  I think Speaker Boehner has convinced... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton, 3goldens, elmo

      ...his TEA Caucus that they have been conducting a "strategic withdrawal to a more favorable and sustainable defensive position" to this point.

      I'm not certain he can continue ditching the Hastert rule without some very serious consequences. Has a Speaker been deposed in mid-Congress? What is the threshold for triggering a "no confidence vote" on the Speaker after the session is underway?

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:22:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the sequester (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton, Eric Nelson

      I agree with your analysis.

      The sequester is most likely going to happen, possibly with a few tweaks. I don't see them delaying or dropping it, and I can't see any big changes that anyone would agree to. It's not anyone's ideal proposal, but it's a least-bad result.

      The continuing resolution/budget is a whole different story.

      Although, even there, the Republicans have been so vague on the specific demands. That gives them a weaker position than if they had specific, popular demans.

    •  Makes sense, the CR is the GOP's likely choice.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton, Creosote

      ..of vehicles to move on a shutdown. But if the deficit continues to shrink at the rate it has been, and that fact is brought out during their attempts, a shut down may prove too costly for them.
      From business insider - Jan. 20, 2013, 5:58 AM:

      But some of the best economists are predicting a rapid diminishing of the deficit.

      In his 10 Questions For 2013 note, Goldman's Jan Hatzius wrote:

      By 2015, we expect the federal deficit to be down to $500bn, or just under 3% of GDP. If this forecast is correct, concerns about the federal deficit are likely to diminish over the next few years.

      Why will the deficit fall in half like this?  Because of what we've been writing about a lot, lately: Deficits aren't about spending and taxes. They're about growth or lack thereof. For decades deficits as a % of GDP have been closely correlated with economic improvement
      The economics don't seem to favor the republicans timing on any tact they take. So while this following statement (from Armando's diary) is true, how much the current economy is at risk is lessening:
      President Obama though has much less favorable economic terrain. Unlike in 1996, the economy today is very fragile. A government shutdown of the duration of the late 1995-early 1996 shutdown would threaten a recession. - Armando
      And if the shrinking deficit is repeatedly/forcefully pointed out and made an issue during "negotiations" as reported by (conservative) the business world, it takes away much of the deficit hawks arguments right from the start imo.

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