House Dems Could Play Chicken on the Debt Ceiling

by Daniel Foster

Get a load of this:


Relegated to the minority, Democrats are hinting they might vote against raising the ceiling to force the GOP’s hand. 

Democrats relegated to minority status in the House say Republicans are now the ones responsible for raising the federal debt ceiling and are hinting that they might vote against it to force the GOP’s hand.

“It is up to the majority to get this bill through; they can’t duck the responsibility,” Financial Service Committee ranking member Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told The Hill on Friday.

It remains to be seen whether Sanders’ position reflects the thinking of senior Democratic leadership. But even if Democrats don’t pursue this as a coordinated effort, they could mount a sort of half-assed whip job in an effort to deal Boehner the kind of embarrassing defeat Pelosi suffered on the first TARP vote, when Republicans didn’t deliver enough votes to bail her out for failing to heel her caucus.

But the Republicans aren’t all that enthusiastic about raising the debt ceiling, even if Boehner has made noises to the effect that it will have to happen. With a tea-infused freshman class and a recent history of out-waiting Democrats, I wouldn’t bet on the GOP blinking first here.

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