House Democratic leaders on Wednesday called for a clean vote on raising the debt ceiling to prevent a government default.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Assistant Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), the caucus vice chairman, are all pushing legislation to increase the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion — enough to see government spending through 2012.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), contains none of the deficit-reduction provisions Republicans are demanding as part of a larger debt-ceiling package. (from Dem leaders unite in call for clean debt-ceiling vote, Blog Briefing Room, July 27, 2011.)I'd love to think my posts had something to do with this heartening development, but it so happens I'm not alone. After doing some Google searches yesterday, I discovered that others have also been calling for a clean bill over the last few weeks. E.g., here's what Matthew Yglesias had to say back on July 11:
Surveying the scene, perhaps everyone should take a deep breath and recall the traditional way the country has avoided default when the debt ceiling needs raising: Congress raises the debt ceiling.
It’s that simple. The same kind of “clean” debt ceiling increase that’s passed repeatedly over the past 100 years will allow the country to avoid default without tax increases, without defense cuts, and without slashing entitlement spending. . .
Right now . . . the only crisis we face is an entirely self-created one. House Republicans wanted to create a hostage situation to force President Obama to propose steep spending cuts. But when Obama came to the table with a proposal for steep cuts, it turned out that Republicans don’t actually want to sign a bipartisan deal. Which is fine. Don’t sign a deal! The absence of a deal in no way forces a crisis. Just raise the debt ceiling, fight the 2012 elections, and pick up the long-term budget issue then.Here's what Elizabeth Drew wrote last Monday, in Politico: