Last year, a faction of Republican fiscal hawks kept Congress from rubber-stamping a debt ceiling increase in the summer. The Congress eventually did raise the debt ceiling though, setting automatic reductions in spending growth that form the spending portion of the fiscal cliff. Many of those fiscal hawks have now been ousted from committee seats influential in the budget process. Two in particular, Michigan's Justin Amash and Kansas' Tim Huelskamp, voted against Paul Ryan's budget in their time on the Budget Committee, now cut short. That budget passed committee 19-18, and was then passed by the Republican House. It set something like automatic debt ceiling increases for the next decade.
Now, the Obama Administration has proposed the president take the power to raise the debt ceiling into his own hands. Today the president told business leaders that negotiating over raising the debt ceiling next year, when it's going to be hit again, "<a href= _warns_gop_against_debt_ceiling_fight_i_will_not_play_that_game.html">is not a game that I will play."
In 2006, Senator Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling, saying:"The fact that we are here today to debate raisingAmerica's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies."
Leadership failure and reckless fiscal policies. Sounds right.