Biden is planning a debt-ceiling push to pin the blame on Mitch McConnell

On Monday, President Joe Biden into the growing conflict, declaring Senate Republicans to be "hypocritical, dangerous, and shameful." Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said that Gop under President Donald Trump spent like "drunk sailors," as she showed a graphic showing the debt they accrued. The White House also intends to send more surrogates to convey its debt ceiling narrative on television this week, with the goal of portraying the argument as one between a Senate minority leader obstructing routes to prevent default and the administration offering quick remedies.

The White House's latest, highly confrontational stance in the debt ceiling impasse is a kind of admission that their previous strategy did not get the expected objectives. The administration has delayed addressing the issue through previous legislative mechanisms in the expectation that at least ten Senate Republicans would be persuaded by the corporate world and Wall Street to vote to raise or postpone the debt ceiling in order to avoid a budgetary disaster.

“To me, this is insanity that Republicans who talk like they are so pro-business are screwing around with the full faith and credit of the U.S. government,” Robert Wolf, the former chief executive of UBS Americas and Obama economic adviser, said in an interview. “This shouldn’t be the polarizing issue that everyone is talking about and working on. You want to have a fight over policy — infrastructure and climate action and healthcare benefits — then have that fight. But I don’t think you want to have a fight over the debt ceiling.”

The White House and Republican lawmakers have both stated that there is no room for discussion on the ceiling, leaving just a few options. Gop could give in. Democrats may move backward and modify Senate regulations in order to approve a debt-ceiling increase with only 50 votes. Alternatively, if Dems determine that they will have to approve it through reconciling, as many expect, Gop might decide to put up less time-consuming roadblocks to stymie the procedure.

On Monday, Biden accompanied Yellen in extolling the consequences of default: Sending the economy off the edge, he claims, jeopardizes jobs and retirement savings, Social Security payments, military pay, and veteran benefits, among many other things.

Meanwhile, Gop is placing two betting of their own. The first is that the general people will be unable to distinguish between ordinary debt and the technical regulations surrounding the debt ceiling, which is poorly understood. The second is that if the economy fails, people will blame the ruling party.

05 October 2021

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