McConnell plan a red herring

The Hill reporters Erik Wasson and Alex Bolton each had a unique perspective on the debt talks coming out of the weekend with regard to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) “plan B.” This, of course, is the fallback plan that would give President Obama the power to raise the debt ceiling on his own, with a few caveats and demands along the way.

The more I study this, the more I agree with those Wasson interviewed regarding the outcome. Nothing good, neither politically nor policy-wise, can come of this effort.

Yes, the plan would raise the debt ceiling, but at what cost?

First of all, I fear McConnell’s motivations for granting this authority to the White House are less than noble. If pressed, I think McConnell himself would agree he’s trying to score political points on this and help his Republican counterparts in the House.

But this fallback plan has no long-term intentions or goals. Like most initiatives coming out of both the House and Senate, it merely kicks the can down the road, all while “sending a message.” We don’t need any more of those types of negotiations.

I’m glad the likes of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told The Hill’s Bolton, “The problem isn’t the debt ceiling, it’s the debt.” Truer words have never been spoken.

If the rank and file on both sides of the dome get this, how come the leadership does not?

Just look at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). He’s been going along with the McConnell fallback option. That alone should tell you something’s not right. It’s clear he’s willing to give the president an increase at all costs, which is another reason to oppose this effort.

The lesson heading into this week is still the same one from weeks prior — there is no “quick fix,” and it certainly won’t be easy.

More in Economy & Budget

After the cromnibus, how the new Congress can control spending

Read more »