Disapproving the debt ceiling: a way to get it approved
October 29th, 2013
04:25 PM ET
6 months ago

Disapproving the debt ceiling: a way to get it approved

(CNN) –Two weeks after the bruising standoff ended over government spending and the debt limit, the House and Senate this week are taking the final steps to formally allow the debt ceiling to rise.

As part of that agreement, each chamber has 15 days to vote on a “motion of disapproval” of President Barack Obama’s official request for a debt increase.

The Senate defeated the disapproval motion in a procedural move Tuesday on a party line vote.
The House is expected to vote Wednesday.

The disapproval measure allows hardened opponents of the increase to register their dissatisfaction.

If, by chance, the motion passed, the President could veto it.

Congress would then need a supermajority from each chamber to override his veto, something that would be very difficult to do.

This mechanism was first used two years ago when Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell proposed it as a way to allow passage of a debt ceiling increase while permitting many in his party to vote no.

Senate Democrats have now seized on the idea and proposed Tuesday making the process the permanent method for raising the debt limit.

They argued it’s less threatening to the economy if Congress can vote to disapprove of these politically-charged debt ceiling increases instead of approving them.

“The way it works right now, the debt ceiling is like a ticking time bomb that threatens massive economic destruction,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a co-sponsor of the proposal. “This bill would diffuse it. By forcing Congress to disapprove debt ceiling increase, we greatly reduce the risk of default that would be a crushing blow to our economy.”

In a speech on the Senate floor, McConnell dismissed Schumer’s proposal and argued it would “hand the President a credit card without spending limits” and would “give the president permanent power to borrow more without a shred of accountability.”

He said no Senate Republicans would go along with the change.


Filed under: Congress • national debt
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Haha. McConnell proposed it and now he's vehemently opposed to it. LOL. The man who invented the self-filibuster is at it again.

    October 29, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    “give the president permanent power to borrow more without a shred of accountability.”

    No it wouldn't. Congress holds the purse strings. If Congress sets spending at levels that require no borrowing, then guess who won't be borrowing anything? All the talk about giving the POTUS, ANY POTUS, a "credit card" of any sort is freekin nonsense.

    October 29, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Oh brother...and 27 Senate GOPers/Teatrolls who just voted to raise the debt ceiling just voted to "disapprove" of their own votes. What a farce the GOP/Teatrolls are.

    October 29, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    "..this mechanism was first used two years ago when Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell proposed it............"

    Now, he's against it. Just like when he filibustered his own bill. Still trying to make President Obama a one-term.......
    oops..... a three-term President.

    I've asked this before, but no answers. Congress loves to say they "hold the purse strings" – if so, why did they
    approve the spending that now has to be paid for?
    Maybe just sayin' knows......................I would love to hear his/her answer.

    October 29, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    How about this for legislation? If Congress fails to pay their bills in a timely manner, they lose the authority of the purse and that authority then goes to the President who will have the right to lift the debt ceiling to that to pay unpaid expenses.

    October 29, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. tom l

    The Hatfields and The McCoys are at it again and we, the American public, get to suffer as they each tell us how bad the other side is. Suckers on both sides who actually believe that their politicians care about them. What a joke.

    October 29, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "When you reduce the standards, as was done and what actually caused the snowball effect of the recession"

    No, it's not what caused the snowball effect that led to a recession. What Wall Street did with the mortgage-backed securities that contained subprime mortgages was what caused that. Had Wall Street not done what it did, we would not have watched the financial industry almost collapse, credit dry up, $700B get spent on saving major financial institutions and the economy careen off into a ditch. Instead, we would've seen some economic slowdown as a lot of people whose mortgages were under water went through foreclosures, but it would not have been the exponentially worse disaster caused by Wall Street gambling games and their neverending attempts to spin gold from straw, no matter the risks must be taken or what laws need to be skirted to accomplish it. That you fail to mention Wall Street's role, deliberately gloss over it and attempt to lay the recession at the feet of Freddie and Fannie shows that you're not objective and are pushing a biased, partisan narrative. Were subprime mortgages a bad idea? Yep. Did they CAUSE the recession and collapsed the economy? NOPE. Wall Street gave us that as a special thank you present for deregulating their shenanigans.

    October 29, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    “The way it works right now, the debt ceiling is like a ticking time bomb that threatens massive economic destruction,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a co-sponsor of the proposal. “This bill would diffuse it."

    No it wouldn't. It would DEFUSE it. More to the point though, the GOP/Teatrolls WANT the ticking time bomb. It's been one of their big methods for creating fear and uncertainty in the markets and for business owners, hampering recovery, damaging the economy while Obama is in office so they can then turn around and point at bad numbers and blame him for it, as if they haven't been deliberately doing anything and everything possible to keep things awful in hopes everyone will buy into blaming Obama.

    October 29, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. tom l

    "How about this for legislation? If Congress fails to pay their bills in a timely manner, they lose the authority of the purse and that authority then goes to the President who will have the right to lift the debt ceiling to that to pay unpaid expenses"

    I would caution you on that one. Look at the Patriot Act:

    Then: Repubs said we need this to protect Americans and they trust the president (what that really means is we trust the president when it's our guy). Dems complained this was an infringement and we should be worried

    Now: Repubs complain of overreach with the NSA (which they approved of when the president had an "R" next to his name) and totally contradict themselves with the Pandora's Box known as the Patriot Act. Dems now, with a president with a "D" next to his name back the Patriot Act, NSA spying, drones flying over our heads and say the president is doing this to protect Americans (totally contradicting themselves and everything they used to worry about when a president with an "R" next to his name was in office)

    Just wait until a repub is president again and you won't be saying that and you'll be complaining about reckless govt spending on the military and blah blah blah.

    October 29, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "I can hardly wait until we start seeing everybody's personal information all over the web."

    LOL...did you sleep through the advent of Facebook? Yawn @ Teatroll hyperbole.

    October 29, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. jboh

    Thank you "Sniffit". The root of the George W Bush Great Recession was Wall St rating agencies working for Wall St bankers slapping a AAA rating on investment instruments that should have been rated around D-. There is a word for that . FRAUD. Wall St furthered the FRAUD when they sold the fraudulently rated instruments to pension funds/401K plans. This amounted to the redistribution of wealth from those who worked for it to Wall St FRAUDS. The largest redistribution of wealth by theft since the conquistadores looted Aztecs/Incas. Sweep the TEA/GOP into history's garbage dump in 2014!

    October 29, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Dems now, with a president with a "D" next to his name back the Patriot Act, NSA spying, drones flying over our heads and say the president is doing this to protect Americans (totally contradicting themselves and everything they used to worry about when a president with an "R" next to his name was in office)"

    That's not what people argued. Good for you on finding yet another argument to mischaracterize in order to give yourself your easy counterargument.

    October 29, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. tom l

    "I can hardly wait until we start seeing everybody's personal info..."

    LOL...did you sleep through the advent of Facebook? Yawn...

    So let me get this straight, and I'll give you a chance to retract this epic fail of a comment and analogy, are you seriously trying to say that signing up on Facebook and signing up on healthcare.gov are the same thing? We all type ridiculous things sometimes so....

    October 29, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Tampa Tim

    2 million people will get notices that their current health care plan does not meet minimum standards. Those policies are junk, and would never cover any major health problem. While the right wingnuts whine like spoiled third graders, they will forever be grateful to President Obama when they need a major operation.

    October 29, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Steve Hamilton

    The proposal to allow the president to increase the debt limit unless Congress disapproves is sensible. The second shoe has not yet dropped on the recent shutdown and default threat, and that is the credit rating downgrade the US is about to get from the rating agencies like S&P and Fitch. I expect a two level drop, which will increase America's interest rate by 200 basis points and result in hundreds of billions of added expense. this, in turn will require tax increases for both individual and corporate taxpayers, most likely the largest increase in history.

    October 29, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Data Driven

    @Steve Hamilton,

    Totally agree. While this network heaves and sets over website glitches, the real story resides in that $24 B fiasco we just got walloped with. The downgrades will be part of that story.

    October 29, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    . IRS targets Obama’s enemies: The IRS targeted conservative and pro-Israel groups prior to the 2012 election. Questions are being raised about why this occurred, who ordered it, whether there was any White House involvement and whether there was an initial effort to hide who knew about the targeting and when.

    October 29, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    2. Benghazi: This is actually three scandals in one:

    The failure of administration to protect the Benghazi mission.
    The changes made to the talking points in order to suggest the attack was motivated by an anti-Muslim video
    The refusal of the White House to say what President Obama did the night of the attack

    October 29, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. tom l

    @Data
    You are far too smart to think that 24 billion dollars does anything to a 14+ trillion dollar economy. I know you blast repubs for talking points but that's all that comment is. I'd expect it from Tampa Simpleton who has no concept of what that 24 billion actually means (because it is commonly referred to in a way from the left here that it was 24 billion in taxes that the govt didn't receive but it's not that at all – it's just 24 billion less in economic activity). It represents less than .002% of the economy.

    October 29, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. Tampa Tim

    The Republican Party is a colossal failure.

    October 29, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  21. Ol' Yeller

    @Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"
    Are you sure you are posting to the right thread... I believe these were months ago and just because some Senator (R) is getting primaired to the right by some te abgg er extremist it doesn't change the fact these dead horses have been beaten.
    BTW- Thanks for Boner Ohio! He's a real statesman and leader...

    October 29, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  22. Stuffit

    Although the liberal media and the corrupt regime and their synchophants will never admit it, the TEA party was right about this too. The only thing they missed was the data security problems with OBOZOCARE. Tell the truth about liberals and the media will codemn you. If you lie you can be elected president, twice.

    October 29, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. ghostwriter

    Tom, I think you are confusing democrats working with a law as acceptance. You see, we fought against passing the Patriot Act, but unlike the tea party brats, we didn't try to hold up the government over it. We worked with the law. We told you this stuff would happen. But you didn't listen. Now conservatives are complaining and folks like me are laughing at them. We...or at least I still do not support the law. But it is the law. If conservatives were looking for a real complaint for Obama, they could start with him not trying to repeal the law. But hey, many democrats and republicans agree with the law. It's about the only bipartisan thing they have going.

    October 29, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    The Congress is simply going through the motions, and has surrendered to Obama.

    October 29, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. John

    A grand bargain....

    GOP approves an increase in debt ceiling and budget until the end of 2014,
    Obama agrees to a delay in the medical device tax until 2015
    Individuals are able to delay obtaining healthcare until June 15, 2014 for July 1 start...

    I like it......but can congress agree on anything at this point?

    October 29, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
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