No GOP Hypocrisy on the Debt Ceiling

FilibusterEd Kilgore calls out the Republicans for hypocrisy about the Debt Ceiling. He notes that only 28 of the 272 Republicans in Congress voted for it—just over 10%. He also notes that of the twelve Republicans in the Senate who voted for cloture, none voted for the actual bill. I think he is totally wrong to call this hypocrisy.

The Debt Ceiling vote has long been little more than an opportunity for grandstanding. And that’s just fine. When Barack Obama was a Senator, he voted against it and we rightly justify that because he did it knowing that the Debt Ceiling would pass. That’s all that the Republicans are doing here. The only difference is that the Republican base has become so crazy that the vote is also a matter of political survival. So I think we should applaud them: we got enough Republicans to cooperate and got the Debt Ceiling raised. Yay!

Even worse than this, however, is complaining that the Senate Republicans voted for cloture but not for the bill. It amazes me that a smart and knowledgeable commentator like Kilgore would say this. The way things are supposed to work is that votes are allowed on bills even when 41 Senators are against it. Kilgore is implying that this “if you don’t like a bill you filibuster it” approach to legislation is right and proper.

Kilgore quotes an article by Carl Hulsey about the Vote No, Hope Yes Caucus. And yes, there is a small difference between that and Obama’s Vote No, Know Yes vote. But that’s just politics and I think we should all be a little understanding of the hole that Republicans have created for themselves regarding the base.

Hulsey spends a good chunk of his article talking about what this means for immigration reform. Kilgore also discusses this. It is the kind of Villager stuff that drives me crazy. We are not going to get reasonable immigration reform while the Republicans control half the Congress. But to these guys, anything that is called immigration reform is good. They apparently would be thrilled if Congress passed “The Immigration Reform and Deport Everyone Act.”

All this discussion comes down to is a plea that we all just get along. But the vote on the Debt Ceiling was an example of us getting along. So we aren’t going to get a bad immigration bill that is a huge giveaway to corporate America. Big deal. In Washington this week, we managed to raise the Debt Ceiling without further harming the economy. I call that a win. Let’s move on.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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