In the words of The Princess Bride, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” But yes, according to the Congressional Republicans, there is no need for them to go any further on this “compromise” thing since, according to them, they are already compromising just be raising the ceiling at all. “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said the key Republican concession is ‘the fact that we are voting — the fact that we are even discussing voting for a debt ceiling increase.’ He claimed this was a significant move. ‘What I don’t think the White House understands is how difficult it is for fiscal conservatives to say they’re going to vote to pay for a debt ceiling increase.’”
When just allowing the ceiling to be raised, an action that is necessary to prevent the country’s economic collapse, is their idea of a compromise, you can see why it seems as if the GOP isn’t negotiating in good faith. And it’s about to get even more difficult, as all signs point to the Republicans digging their feet in even deeper when it comes to negotiations, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor even going as far as to tell the president that if he wants rich people to pay more in taxes, he should just write a check personally.
Sound a little petulant? Well, when the president has to refer to raising the debt ceiling as “eating your peas” just to get some momentum on talks, there’s really no surprise there.
Even worse, the infighting in the Republican party is getting even more cut throat, as many turn to blaming Speaker of the House John Boehner for making them look bad with the appearance that they would ever consider “raising taxes.” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has been among the most vocal of these, now accusing Boehner of having “no plan” when it comes to the budget. “You’ve probably seen reports of these rumored deals and know that Speaker Boehner and others don’t seem to have a plan to force the issue of balancing the budget. Republicans should reject any debt ceiling deal that does not include a Balanced Budget Amendment and spending cuts.”
Democratic leaders are still trying to convince Republicans despite their stubbornness and bickering that they need to come to the table and compromise, and Democratic Senator Kent Conrad even introduced his own budget plan in the wake of the feuding, though no one really noticed it. And GOP presidential candidates took the debt ceiling debate and ran with it, with Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum using the impasse to push their campaigns onward.
Meanwhile, the amount of people concerned about a government default if the debt ceiling isn’t raised has gone up 7 points since May.
We now have three weeks until the final August 2nd deadline.