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Debt Ceiling Calamity VI - This Time It's Personal (Thanks Georgia, Biden's not agenda)

Jimmy Higgins

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The debt ceiling needs to be ended. The active debt ceiling has never impeded any spending or tax cut. Its purpose doesn't exist.
 

lpetrich

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In shift, McConnell begins talks with Schumer to stave off debt crisis - CNNPolitics
Emerging from the Thursday meeting, McConnell called it a "good discussion" and the two agreed to "keep talking" about the massive year-end agenda the Senate is struggling to finish, including raising the debt ceiling and avoiding a government shutdown by December 3. Senators briefed on the matter say Republicans are open to a deal that would allow Democrats to easily raise the debt ceiling without GOP support, so long as Republicans don't drag out the process.
What might the Democrats do?
Democrats could either use a process known as budget reconciliation, which cannot be filibustered but would open them up to scores of GOP amendments in the Senate and would eat up days of precious floor time.

Or they could change the filibuster rules and allow the debt ceiling to be raised by a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than 60 to break a stalling tactic -- something McConnell has been fearful his adversaries may actually do with their backs up against the wall.
Though Joe Manchin says he doesn't want to.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Okay, seriously, enough with this bullshit that the GOP is scared of Schumer ending the filibuster. Without that, the first thing gone with a new GOP Senate/House is the death of the ACA. The GOP is daring the Dems to get rid of the filibuster.
 

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Fourteenth Amendment, Section 4:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Could we say the debt ceiling is unconstitutional?
 

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Conservative Senate Republicans reportedly plan to force a government shutdown over vaccine rules
Funding for much of the federal government runs out at midnight on Friday — and conservative Senate Republicans, backed by their counterparts in the House, are "privately plotting to force a government shutdown" as part of "an effort to defund the Biden administration's vaccine mandate on the private sector," Politico's Playbook reports, citing multiple GOP sources. Democrats are scrambling to get agreement from enough Republicans to fund the government at roughly current levels through early 2022.

"Because of the tight schedule — and Senate rules that require unanimous consent to move quickly — the senators believe they'll be able to drag out the process well past midnight Friday," Politico reports. If they succeed, "the government will likely shut down for several days — even if appropriators strike a bipartisan agreement to extend funding by the end of today."
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Alright! Deal appears to have been agreed to. :dancing:

article said:
House and Senate leaders on Thursday announced they had reached a deal on a bill to fund the government into mid-February, opening the door for lawmakers to narrowly avoid a shutdown this weekend.

The agreement on a new stopgap spending measure paves the way for the House to vote before the end of the day, though swift action still seemed uncertain in the Senate, where some Republicans have threatened to grind the government to a halt as they protest President Biden’s vaccine and testing mandates.

STOPGAP?!! FUCK!!! :banghead:

Wait... this is about funding the government and not dealing with the debt ceiling?!?!?!?!

DOUBLE FUCK!!! :banghead::banghead::banghead:
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Well, looks like we can't even fund the Government now because vaccination is immoral now.

article said:
While lawmakers are confident that they can ultimately prevent a prolonged shutdown, a brief shutdown over the weekend, or extending into next week, remains a possibility.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah was the latest member of the GOP conference to say Thursday afternoon that he'll object to quick passage of the resolution.

"The only thing I want to shut down is enforcement of an immoral, unconstitutional vaccine mandate," Lee said in Senate floor remarks.

Republican Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas also stood by his opposition, saying he would object to an effort to quickly pass a stopgap bill to keep the government open unless he gets an amendment vote to defund the Biden vaccine mandate on businesses at a 51-vote threshold.

"Shutting down the government is worth saving the jobs in Kansas," he said.

I remember celebrating my daughter's birthday outdoors at a park in early November 2020, brilliant unseasonal (well is used to be unseasonal) 65 or so and sunny. Talking amongst my family, a couple engineers, a pediatrician, PhD in biology. Thinking hopefully we'd be back to normal-ish come next Thanksgiving. They had got the vaccine, it appeared to work, we seemed to be on that path and now the GOP is so rabidly partisan, vaccination is considered wrong. You know, freedom and all.

We sent 300,000 Americans to war in the 40s that died in combat. And these idiots won't even consider getting a shot because of "freedom", all the while being largely responsible for the continuation of the pandemic in the US.
 

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From NPR,
Lawmakers are juggling must-pass items, like addressing the nation's borrowing authority and an annual defense authorization package, along with major political priorities for Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pledged to vote before Christmas on Biden's roughly $2 trillion Build Back Better legislation.

"I've said many times before that nobody should expect legislation of this magnitude to be easy," Schumer said this week on the Senate floor. "We've been at the task for several months, but we need to take a step back and recognize that we are hopefully less than a month away from acting on the largest investment in the American people we've seen in generations."

That legislation, which includes major investments in the social safety net and programs to address climate change, passed the House last month. Senate Democrats are now waiting for an assessment from the nonpartisan Senate parliamentarian before they can finalize their version of the bill.
About the bill, from CNBC:
  • The measure will keep the government running through Feb. 18.
  • The legislation buys Democrats time as they try to raise or suspend the U.S. debt ceiling before Dec. 15 and pass their $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act by the end of the year.
 

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Here's that bill: H.R.6119 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Making further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022, and for other purposes. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress

US House: Roll Call 399 | Bill Number: H. R. 6119
The vote was 221 - 212. Every Democrat voted for it and all but one Republican voted against it. The only exception was Adam Kinzinger, R-IL.

U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 117th Congress - 1st Session
The vote was 69 - 28 with 3 not voting. Every Democrat and Independent voted for it while among the Republicans, 19 voted for it, 28 voted against it, and 3 did not vote.

The Republican supporters: Blunt (R-MO), Burr (R-NC), Capito (R-WV), Cassidy (R-LA), Collins (R-ME), Cornyn (R-TX), Graham (R-SC), Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Kennedy (R-LA), McConnell (R-KY), Moran (R-KS), Murkowski (R-AK), Portman (R-OH), Rounds (R-SD), Rubio (R-FL), Shelby (R-AL), Tillis (R-NC), Wicker (R-MS), Young (R-IN)

The non-voters: Hagerty (R-TN), Inhofe (R-OK), Thune (R-SD)
 

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Debt ceiling deal reached in Congress, party leaders say - The Washington Post - "Agreement would require cooperation from 10 Senate Republicans"
The arrangement would first see Congress pass a measure that allows Democrats to raise the debt ceiling just once using a simple majority in the Senate. At least 10 Republicans in the chamber would have to support that bill for it to prevail. Then, Democrats alone could forge ahead with the actual increase to the debt ceiling, which GOP lawmakers could oppose without risking an economic crisis.
What a mess.
 

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House passes workaround to move forward on raising the debt ceiling - POLITICO - "The vote creates a path for Congress to prevent the government from defaulting on more than $29 trillion in debt."

The vote was 222-212, and I couldn't find anything that looks like it in Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives
Under the plan, at least 10 Senate Republicans would vote to allow Democrats to raise the debt ceiling with a simple majority. The Senate could start voting to allow this process Thursday, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s “confident” the plan has enough GOP support.

But both chambers would need to actually hike the debt limit in a separate vote — one that could take until early next week to clear both the House and Senate.
 

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I finally found the bill. It is S.610 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
This bill makes several budgetary, technical, and procedural changes, particularly in relation to Medicare and increasing the debt limit.

Specifically, the bill continues to exempt Medicare from sequestration until March 31, 2022. (Sequestration is a process of automatic, usually across-the-board spending reductions under which budgetary resources are permanently cancelled to enforce specific budget policy goals.)

The bill also establishes expedited Senate procedures for considering legislation to increase the debt limit. The procedures limit debate, waive points of order, and prohibit amendments. The procedures may only be used once and expire after January 16, 2022.

Additionally, the bill (1) temporarily extends other provisions under Medicare, including a payment increase under the physician fee schedule; and (2) requires any debits recorded for FY2022 on the statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) scorecards to be deducted from the scorecards for 2022 and added to the scorecards for 2023.
In effect, it revokes the filibuster for raising the debt ceiling.

Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives - Vote Details
Roll Call 404 | Bill Number: S. 610
Vote Question: On Passage
Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act
Vote Type: Yea-And-Nay
Status: Passed

D: Y 221
R: Y 1, N 212
Adam Kinzinger was the only Republican to vote for it

U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 117th Congress - 1st Session
Question: On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture: Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to S. 610 )
Vote Number: 490
Vote Date: December 9, 2021, 12:31 PM
Required For Majority: 3/5
Vote Result: Cloture Motion Agreed to
Measure Number: S. 610 (Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act )
Measure Title: A bill to address behavioral health and well-being among health care professionals.

The vote: Y: 64, N: 36
Every Democrat and Independent votes yes on it, and they were joined by these 14 Republicans: Barrasso (R-WY), Blunt (R-MO), Burr (R-NC), Capito (R-WV), Collins (R-ME), Cornyn (R-TX), Ernst (R-IA), McConnell (R-KY), Murkowski (R-AK), Portman (R-OH), Romney (R-UT), Thune (R-SD), Tillis (R-NC), Wicker (R-MS)
 

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McConnell and Schumer are using parliamentary maneuvers to let Senate Democrats raise the debt ceiling. - The Washington Post
The deal amounts to a one-time, temporary ban on filibustering a resolution to raise the debt limit. To do that, they’re using a decades-old Senate practice: Enact a law that allows expedited treatment of another bill, protecting the latter from a filibuster.

The contemporary Senate occasionally uses these fast-track, filibuster-proof procedures. Past versions have done such things as expediting resolutions related to war powers, weapons sales, trade agreements and emergency declarations. This particular agreement is time-limited, which makes it unusual, and is more like the way the House routinely handles difficult floor votes: By majority vote, the House typically adopts a “special rule” that dictates how and when the House will debate, amend and vote on a pending measure.

Here’s what these special agreements have in common: Even minority-party senators are periodically willing to temporarily set aside their chamber’s supermajority rules to enable the majority party to pass urgent measures — while keeping their own hands out of it.
Seems that there were enough Republicans willing to vote for raising the debt ceiling in an indirect fashion, by revoking the filibuster on it, so that the Democrats could pass it without any Republicans' votes.
 

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Debt Limit Split Shows Pragmatic Republicans Are Dwindling - The New York Times - "Fearing backlash from the right, most in the party dug in against a bipartisan deal needed to stave off a federal default."
When 14 Senate Republicans joined forces with Democrats on Thursday to pave the way for Congress to avert a first-ever federal default, it reflected the crucial role of the pragmatic wing of the G.O.P. in a divided government. But it also showed how narrow that wing has become, and how willing the majority of Republicans were to use potential fiscal catastrophe as an opening to pummel President Biden and his party.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Debt Limit Split Shows Pragmatic Republicans Are Dwindling - The New York Times - "Fearing backlash from the right, most in the party dug in against a bipartisan deal needed to stave off a federal default."
When 14 Senate Republicans joined forces with Democrats on Thursday to pave the way for Congress to avert a first-ever federal default, it reflected the crucial role of the pragmatic wing of the G.O.P. in a divided government. But it also showed how narrow that wing has become, and how willing the majority of Republicans were to use potential fiscal catastrophe as an opening to pummel President Biden and his party.
Pragmatic seems an interesting way to say "full of shit".
 

lpetrich

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S.610 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress -- that's what revoked the filibuster for that debt-ceiling bill. President Biden signed it soon after he got it from the Senate.

S.J.Res.33 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): A joint resolution joint resolution relating to increasing the debt limit. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress

It bumps the debt limit up by $2.5 trillion.

The Senate vote:
U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 117th Congress - 1st Session - Vote 498 - Bill: S.J. Res 33
D: Y 48
I: Y 2
R: N 49 nv 1
Every Democrat and Independent voted for it, and every Republican who voted on it voted against it.

The House vote:
Dec 15, 2021, 12:20 AM | 117th Congress, 1st Session - Roll Call 449 | Bill Number: S. J. Res. 33
D: Y 220, nv 1
R: Y 1, N 209, nv 3
The vote was almost completely by party line, and Adam Kinzinger IL is the only Republican who voted for it.
 
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Senate gives final OK to $1.5T government funding bill - POLITICO - "The package finally cements the fresh budgets Democrats have sought since former President Donald Trump left office."
The Senate passed a $1.5 trillion package Thursday night that funds the federal government through September and delivers $14 billion to help Ukraine, clearing the bill for President Joe Biden’s signature.

The package finally cements the fresh budgets Democrats have sought since former President Donald Trump left office and ends the string of spending patches that has kept federal agencies running on static funding levels since the new fiscal year kicked off in October.

Leaders in both parties have declared the legislation a win. Democrats boast of the almost 7 percent increase they secured for non-defense agencies, increasing that funding to $730 billion. Top Republicans tout the $782 billion they locked in for national defense, a 6 percent hike from current spending.
Not long before,
House Dems clear $1.5T spending deal after stripping Covid aid - POLITICO
 

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Here is that bill: H.R.2471 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress

For months, Republicans refused to engage in negotiations unless Democrats buckled to their demands on controversial policy issues, like the Hyde amendment ban on federal funding for abortions. Democratic leaders largely agreed to those conditions in the end, including the abortion funding moratorium.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled he was satisfied that the bill raised defense and non-defense spending at similar amounts and did not scrap old GOP riders or add new Democratic ones.
I checked, and the Hyde Amendment was still in it.

Some conservative Republicans wanted an assessment of how the budget would affect inflation.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), though he called the bill a “terrible awful piece of crap,” said there wasn’t much he could do to stop it, other than requesting that Ukraine aid was paid for and voting no
Then,
After the House’s last-minute tweak to the bill, Democratic leaders plan to work next week on another route to deliver the Biden administration more than $15 billion in extra funding for pandemic efforts, like moving forward on new Covid treatments, researching emerging variants and expanding vaccine manufacturing.
 

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I checked on U.S. Senate: Roll Call Votes 117th Congress - 2nd Session (2022) and I found these amendments:


S.Amdt.4989 to H.R.2471 - 117th Congress (2021-2022) | Congress.gov | Library of Congress by Sen. Lee, Mike [R-UT] - "To prohibit funding for COVID-19 vaccine mandates."

U.S. Senate: Roll Call Vote #75/url]
D+I: N 50
R: Y 49, nv 1
Ttl: ^ 49, N 50, nv 1
Failed

[url=https://www.congress.gov/amendment/117th-congress/senate-amendment/4990]S.Amdt.4990 to H.R.2471 - 117th Congress (2021-2022) | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
by Sen. Braun, Mike [R-IN] - "To prohibit funds from being used for earmarks."

U.S. Senate: Roll Call Vote #76
D+I: Y 1, N 49
R: Y 34, N 15, nv 1
Ttl: Y 35, N 64, nv 1
Failed

S.Amdt.4983 to H.R.2471 - 117th Congress (2021-2022) | Congress.gov | Library of Congress by Sen. Kennedy, John [R-LA] - "To provide emergency assistance for disaster response and recovery, and for other expenses, directly related to Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Ida and to provide assistance for the Port Infrastructure Development Program."

U.S. Senate: Roll Call Vote #77
D+I: Y 5, N 45
R: Y 30, N 19, nv 1
Ttl: Y 35, N 64, nv 1
Failed
 

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S.1104 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress by Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD]
This bill revises reporting and strategy requirements related to recovery and assistance efforts for Haiti.

Specifically, the bill repeals existing reporting and strategy requirements related to earthquake recovery and economic assistance for Haiti. Further, the bill directs the Department of State to undertake specific initiatives that prioritize and assess the protection and preservation of human rights, the promotion of press and assembly freedoms and the protection of journalists, anticorruption efforts, and a strategy of post-disaster and post-pandemic recovery and development efforts.

The State Department must also submit a report concerning the July 7, 2021, assassination of former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.
This bill was apparently folded into the big budget bill.

U.S. Senate: Roll Call Vote #78
D+I: Y 50
R: Y 18, N 31, nv 1
Ttl: Y 68, N 31, nv
Passed
 

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Since this bill is not quite ready to go, there was a danger of a government shutdown. But Congress agreed to a stopgap resolution to keep it going until next week, as I write this.

H.J.Res.75 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2022 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress by Rep. DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT-3]

"This joint resolution provides continuing FY2022 appropriations to federal agencies through March 15, 2022. It is known as a continuing resolution (CR) and prevents a government shutdown that would otherwise occur if the FY2022 appropriations bills have not been enacted when the existing CR expires on March 11, 2022."

So the last day of funded operations would have been yesterday, as I write this, but funded operations are being extended to the upcoming Tuesday.

It was passed by voice vote in both chambers.

President Biden signed it into law yesterday.
Bill Signed: H.J. Res. 75 | The White House
 

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The Senate had a cloture vote before proceeding with that bill.
D+I: Y 47, nv 3
R: Y 18, N 30, nv 2
Ttl: Y 65, N 30, nv 5

The latest on it - Actions - H.R.2471 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress

After Senate vote #78 on Thursday, March 10, the Senate notified the House on March 11, the House presented the bill to President Biden on March 14, and the President signed the bill on March 15.

Remarks by President Biden at Signing of H.R. 2471, "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022" | The White House
After saying that the bill was a bipartisan success,

"This bill also includes historic funding — $13.6 billion — to address Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact on surrounding countries."

Then going into a LOT of detail about that.
Let me just mention a couple of highlights, starting with community safety. We know what works to make our communities safer, and that’s investing in prevention and community police officers so that they can walk the streets, know the neighborhoods, and who can help restore trust and safety in the communities.

The answer is not to abandon our streets or to choose between safety and equal justice. It’s in funding — it’s in this funding bill, which we make sure we do both.

...
Community violence interruption programs are programs where trusted community members work directly with the people who are most likely to commit or become victims of gun crimes. I had a chance to meet with those leaders in one of the programs in New York City not long ago. I saw the difference they were making every day.

We know these programs can dramatically reduce violence, and we’re going to fund a lot more of them.

This bill also includes grants for state and local law enforcement and crime prevention programs. We’re talking about drug treatment programs, school violence prevention programs, programs where people who might end up in prison and instead get mandatory mental healthcare that they need. Part of the saf- — before any crime was committed.
Then,

"Today, with this bill, we reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. For example — (applause)."

"This bill supports opioid response grants that are funding that we provide to states to support opioid prevent — opioid prevention, treatment, and recovery services."

"ARPA-H will have a singular purpose: to drive breakthroughs to prevent, detect, and treat diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, and other diseases."

So let me close with this: Today, we’re again showing the American people that, as a country, we can come together as Democrats, Republicans, and independents and do big things; that our democracy can deliver — can deliver — and outperform autocracies; and that there’s nothing we can’t do when we do it together as the United States of America.

So I’d like to now invite up my Budget Director, Shalanda Young, and all the members of the Congress here today while we sign this bipartisan government funding bill.

Fact Sheet: Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) | The White House

Remarks by President Biden on the Assistance the United States is Providing to Ukraine | The White House

Remarks by President Biden Celebrating the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act | The White House
 
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