Accepting a three month debt ceiling extension would be a horrible mistake for the Obama Administration


The House Republicans appear to be on their last legs. The recent tussle in Congress over increasing the debt limit again, has sparked yet another political battle who’s real nature is not about the debt limit at all. Republicans in Congress have made it their main priority to slash massive amounts of federal spending on social safety net programs and other social edicts that mainly benefit the poor and working class. This time, however, the tide has shifted on the Republican Party.

Reports from the New York Times and other major media outlets have revealed that House Republicans will hold a vote on a three month extension of the debt ceiling. The only catch is that the deal specifies that both Houses of Congress would need to pass a budget that, as they see it, seriously reduces the deficit (by cutting social programs and welfare).

The “agreement” was made in private and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has signaled a push for his fellow House members to get in line and vote for this extension. This may sound good if you don’t pay close attention to politics, but if the Democrats in Congress along with President Obama approve this extension, it will be a huge mistake on their part.

Why is this so? Well, put simply the Democrats have all the cards in their favor right now. The primary goal for Obama and the Democrats in Congress should be to get that debt limit increased to its fullest extent and settle this issue as a political weapon once and for all. If Obama and the Democrats accept this three month deal, only to face a  another debt ceiling increase in three months, it will give Republicans the time necessary to regroup and refocus their attack with more drastic spending cuts in the next round of negotiations. Democrats should not have the time or patience to constantly face government shutdowns and draconian negotiations with Republicans on how much spending should be cut from the the poor and middle class in America.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor speaks at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in Evanston
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

It is also important to note, Republicans in Congress have very little leverage now when it comes to this round of debt ceiling talks. Public opinion on this issue is very low for Congressional Republicans, and on top of that many Republican voters are turning on their leaders in Congress, including very big donors to the Republican Party. It seems that even the Koch Brothers have just about had it with the debt limit hostage crisis and are pressing their puppets representatives in Congress to increase the debt limit (with or without strings attached). Obama and the Democrats have an opportunity to silence this issue for the rest of the year, and focus on the agendas they want to focus on.

If Obama and the Democrats in Congress stand strong, and press for full increase, they will get it in the end. The Republicans have lost most, if not all leverage and it’s evident just by wanting to give out a free three month pass! If the Republicans (who never compromise) have suddenly decided to say “let’s compromise” it can only be that they have nowhere left to go! They’ve used up whats left of their political capital. Of course that’s unless Democrats fall for their trap and go along with passing their extension.

Barack ObamaPlease help Democrats avoid this debt ceiling trap and prevent Republicans from regaining any form of momentum. If you wish to see this issue be silenced, we must urge progressive activists across the country to press their Congressmen for a full rejection of this three month deal. In a game of deal or no deal, you have to stick with your case.


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