WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – With the government shutdown plan pitched by Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee looking less and less likely; the GOP-led House is preparing to threaten to crash the U.S. economy if President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats don’t acquiesce to Republican policy demands.
According to the Washington Post, the House will pass a one-year debt hike that will also call for the delay of the Affordable Care Act for a year, set a timetable for tax reform, cut $120 billion from federal health programs, and cut federal civil service pensions.
In addition, the debt hike bill from the House is expected to call for approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, increase offshore drilling, block federal regulations of greenhouse gas emissions, and restrict most forms of federal industry regulation, according to the Post.
The policy demands from the House include every major policy want the Republican Party has with the exception of a ban on late-term abortions. And according to the Post, adding that was debated during the drafting of the debt increase.
The United States has never had a debt default in history, but the GOP is acting like it’s ready to push the economy into what economists fear would be complete chaos on the national and global markets if it can’t get its way.
Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina told Politico.com that Congress shouldn’t pass a debt ceiling increase without strings attached and that President Obama, “is going to pay some price for it, which is a benefit for the American people.”
President Obama has repeatedly said he will not negotiate over raising the debt ceiling. The White House is not asking for any concessions from the GOP to raise the debt limit.
Instead, the raising of the debt limit is to pay bills already incurred by Congress, not to add spending to the government.
House Speaker John Boehner, according to Politico.com, believes President Obama will eventually negotiate on the debt limit hike because the president values the greater good of keeping the American economy afloat.
However, if President Obama trades policy concessions for the hike; then the debt ceiling will be used permanently by opposition parties to gain whatever policies they want, regardless of if the nation wants them.
For example, if Democrats controlled the House and Republicans controlled the Senate and/or White House; Democrats could attach a provision mandating universal health care to any debt hike and refuse to negotiate without that provision attached.
The government-by-extortion ploy could set up decades of economic policy problems that would cripple the economy every few months as Congress toys with whether or not to work with the president.