In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Erickson To GOP: 'Hold The Debt Ceiling Hostage'


More on the BBA -- a truly radical plan that would quickly erode the federal safety net -- here. Democratic leaders have rightly described the BBA as a Trojan horse for politically unpopular plans to phase out entitlement programs. But they haven't touched on the extent to which it would hamstring the government, and undermine Congress' Article I powers.

Republican leaders have promised test votes on the BBA, but have made no indication they plan to use their debt limit leverage to actually pass it. For now, they're using that leverage to force immediate spending cuts, and perhaps different budget process reforms, but not the BBA. But heavy hitters in the conservative movement are serious about it -- or at least they say they are.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at