Democrats Plot Debt Ceiling Fight And Government Shut Down To Thwart Trump Tax Cuts

After 8 years of bashing Republicans for using debt ceiling votes as leverage to try to force spending cuts, Democrats now seem intent upon doing pretty much the same thing, well, at least the 'using the debt ceiling as leverage' part.  In fact, after repeatedly calling for a 'clean' debt ceiling vote (i.e. one without attached conditions) House minority leader Nancy Pelosi recently hinted, in her typical incoherent manner no less, that Democrats may now be looking into using the debt ceiling vote as leverage to thwart Trump's forthcoming tax proposals.

"I don't have any intention of lifting the debt ceiling to enable the Republicans to give another tax break to the wealthy in our country.  To further exacerbate the challenge that is created when they have their trickle down economics."


"The president keeps saying 'the tax bill is moving through Congress,' it doesn't exist.  It doesn't exist.  So you understand the frustration.  It doesn't exist.  There is no tax bill moving through Congress."


As Bloomberg points out, Democrats have been the key to passing 'clean' debt ceiling increases in the past but hypocrisy is not a concept that is well understood in Washington D.C.

It’s unclear how this would work in practice, but Democratic aides in both chambers said they are discussing possible strategies to tie the debt ceiling to blocking tax cuts.


Such an approach would be a significant change for Democrats, who have spent the past eight years arguing that debt ceiling increases should be free from conditions, and could further complicate efforts to raise the government’s borrowing authority when the current limit is reached later this year.


Democrats have been willing in the past to provide Republicans enough support on “clean” debt-ceiling measures to help make up for the loss of votes among conservatives, mostly in the House, who refuse to support them without deep cuts to domestic programs. Democrats were key to helping resolve the 2011 fight over the debt limit, a protracted standoff that contributed to S&P Global Ratings’ decision to downgrade the U.S. to AA+ to AAA.

Ironically, efforts to use the debt ceiling as leverage could, presumably for the first time ever, partially align the interests of Democrats with the most conservative voices in Congress, many of whom would have no problem shutting down the federal government for a while.  After being singled out and blamed for the last government shutdown in 2013, the House Freedom Caucus undoubtedly welcomes Pelosi's sudden support.

Already, members of the House Freedom Caucus have said they will push for spending cuts in this year’s debt-ceiling debate in exchange for their support. On Friday, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, said the White House would consider spending cuts or policy changes favored by Republicans in order to avert an unprecedented default. That appears to align him with White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, but against Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who has called on Congress to pass a “clean” debt-ceiling hike.


“Treasury secretary would love to do a clean debt ceiling -- I get that. But if we need to get things attached to get it through, we’ll attach things,” Cohn said on CNBC.


Several conservative groups met at the White House last week to discuss a strategy. Ideas they discussed included caps on mandatory programs such as Social Security and Medicare, extending automatic across-the-board spending cuts and matching any debt-limit increase with spending cuts, according to two participants in the meeting.


Republicans in both chambers are seeking to draft and approve a tax-cut package this year that would lower individual and corporate tax rates, although no proposal has been circulated yet. Several leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have said they want any tax overhaul to be revenue-neutral. But Trump has repeatedly promised large cuts.

So, by all means, fight on Nancy...for one time in your multi-decade political career you may actually slip up and save taxpayers some money.


knukles shocktherapy Mon, 06/05/2017 - 20:56 Permalink

Pleeeeeeeze protest the budget with the debt ceiling (ha ha ha) debate.Shut it down, Nancy!Get a pair, shut it down.  Just duck when the Donald starts Tweeting about you.  I know how frustrated that makes people like Kathy Griffin feel.  Terrible.Very bad.  Very very bad.  Bigly bad, so very very bad it's Yuuuuugely bad

In reply to by shocktherapy

PacOps jcaz Mon, 06/05/2017 - 22:37 Permalink

And we know how she and her husband got "loaded". Wonderful opportunities started happening shortly after her arrival in DC as does it for most others "we" send there as well.Bitching about congress and these peoples abuse of it and us is so tiresome. I sure hope you younger ones can effect some positive change in your lifetimes.Trump's a start but the swamp is surely going to take more than 8 years just to get rid of the big chunks near the surface. I'll be in my mid 80's then but sure would love to live and see at least that.

In reply to by jcaz

Budnacho Mon, 06/05/2017 - 19:28 Permalink

So, their plan is to force Trump to choose which programs get the $$ that actually comes in and which don't?...I hope this continues for all 8 of his years in office.......

Jabba Rooski Mon, 06/05/2017 - 19:31 Permalink

Now that is a great idea.  Where have I heard this before?Might give Trump a clear assessment of all the non-essential govt employees, then go from there..

nmewn Mon, 06/05/2017 - 19:49 Permalink

"Hands up or the nigger gets it!" Relax, its a Blazing Saddles line done by a black dude, not by Bill Maher who's not actually black, he's he doesn't get to play around with it, see the difference?...its a proprietary PC term and strictly verboten!////As an aside, if I'm going to be constantly accused of being a sociopathic, greedy, razzzist bastard I'm going to start acting like one ;-)

MuffDiver69 Mon, 06/05/2017 - 19:35 Permalink

There is no such thing as a revenue neutral tax cut . It doesn't exist in economics. There are spending cuts and increases. We are dealing with morons.

24Richie Mon, 06/05/2017 - 20:14 Permalink

Freeze the debt ceiling and start shutting down government agencies and programs.  I am 100% behind this.  One more thing:  if there is a shutdown no more paying federal employees for the time they did not work.

Åristotle Mon, 06/05/2017 - 19:38 Permalink

In this form of democracy the citizens are very numerous, and can hardly be made to assemble unless they are paid and to pay them when there are no revenues presses hardly upon the notables (for the money must be obtained by a property tax and confiscations and corrupt practices of the courts, things which have before now overthrown many democracies); where, I say, there are no revenues, the government should hold few assemblies.

yogibear Mon, 06/05/2017 - 20:04 Permalink

Pelosi almost as bad as Maxine Waters.Her daughters look just as scary as she is.California always seem to find the goofiest people for political office. Like their on drugs.

rlm1966 Mon, 06/05/2017 - 20:13 Permalink

Call me weird, and I am all for cuts, but instead of starting with social security and medicare why not start with closing some government agencies and reducing government employee pay and benefits including these elected idiots and their staffs. 

Faeriedust rlm1966 Mon, 06/05/2017 - 21:07 Permalink

Because there are two ways to get anything more than peanuts out of cutting expenses: Social Security/Medicare, and Defense.  And if they cut Defense, as we've seen, they cut their own throats, sometimes literally.  Pity.  Because Congresscritters are eminently replaceable, while functional Social Security isn't.

In reply to by rlm1966

JailBanksters Mon, 06/05/2017 - 20:36 Permalink

Everybody knew this would happen even before the ElectionBut anyway, Lower Taxes just means you will have LESS money in pocket.You will be paying MORE, a lot MORE for Local Government, Power, Water, Air

silverer Mon, 06/05/2017 - 20:47 Permalink

When Hong Kong overtaxed the citizens the government stuck to the original budget, spent it wisely, and had a surplus. They apologized for collecting more tax than needed, and returned the overage to the taxpayers. Will we ever see that in the US? Nope. NEVER.

silverer Mon, 06/05/2017 - 20:56 Permalink

"I don't have any intention of lifting the debt ceiling to enable the Republicans to give another tax break to the wealthy in our country. To further exacerbate the challenge that is created when they have their trickle down economics."

Is equivalent to saying "Orange is green, and if you spend more money you'll have more money, your mother is your father, and the sun rises in the west." Thanks Nancy.