McCain on the Republican-created budget mess: 'A little bit bizarre'
'A little bit bizarre'
By Steve Benen
Congressional Republicans have created quite a mess when it comes to the federal budget. The fiasco has become so ridiculous that yesterday on the Senate floor, Republican Sens. John McCain and Susan Collins blasted their own party's incoherence...the story is relatively straightforward: the House and Senate both passed competing budget resolutions, which means it's time for a conference committee to work on a possible compromise. This was the process Republicans insisted upon.
But when Senate Democrats agreed and passed a budget plan of their own, GOP officials did a 180-degree turn, insisting on behind-closed-doors talks to negotiate what could be included in the negotiations....Even McCain finds all of this absurd...the Republican position on budget talks is "a little bit bizarre."
Taking the other side was a familiar right-wing trio -- Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee -- which presented an argument that was truly amazing, even for them.
Dave Weigel reported yesterday:
What Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Mike Lee want -- and have wanted -- is a guarantee that a debt limit increase cannot be included in the budget agreement that comes out of the House and Senate conference. It only takes 51 votes to pass a budget. Cruz, on the floor, has asked the Senate to preserve the "traditional 60-vote threshold" for raising the debt limit.
This is a strange definition of "tradition."
It is, indeed. Between 1939 and 2010, the debt ceiling was raised 89 times. How many of those increases were subjected to the "60-vote threshold"? Zero. Even earlier this year, a debt-ceiling increase was approved with 52 votes, not 60.