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October 14, 2013

Spending Deal Swamped by Senate

Senate Democrats want higher spending to go with a debt ceiling increase.

No one can accuse Senate Democrats of merely rejecting House proposals for restarting the government. The government will reach its debt limit Thursday, and for some reason Democrats think that’s a good reason to increase spending. Over the weekend, they demanded that debt ceiling negotiations begin at pre-sequester funding levels. But the Senate couldn’t even pass a bipartisan proposal from not-exactly-Tea-Party-extremist Susan Collins to maintain current spending levels until March with a debt limit increase good through January. House Republicans, meanwhile, weren’t at all pleased that Senate Republicans were trying to cut them out of a deal, but they also backed off many of their demands, especially regarding ObamaCare, only to have Barack Obama reject a deal.

Of course, the end game for Obama and Senate Leader Harry Reid isn’t to avert “default” or end the shutdown – it’s to hang blame around Republicans’ necks.

As for “default,” Senate Democrat Whip Dick Durbin warned, “For the United States to default on its national debt for the first time in history would be catastrophic.” But according to The Wall Street Journal, “The Treasury says that on Thursday it will be left with $30 billion in cash to pay the government’s bills, an amount that could run out in a week or two.” Moody’s Investors Service, one of the nation’s most watched credit raters, says that Democrat rhetoric about the U.S. credit rating collapsing is hyperbole. If Congress fails to lift the debt ceiling, Moody’s indicates that the Treasury Department would most certainly continue to pay interest on the U.S. debt. All government revenue – of which there is still a large amount – should be first allocated for debt service, but with Obama in charge of what checks are written, all bets are off.

As the Senate produced nothing during its Sunday session, Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, along with 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, joined a crowd of veterans and others to remove the Barackades at the World War II Memorial and take them to the White House. Unfortunately, the White House wasted no time in returning them to the Memorial.

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