According to a report in Bloomberg News, there’s an increasing push among House Republicans to pass some kind of short-term “clean” debt ceiling bill. It would likely be a “suspension” of the debt ceiling rather than raising it. For these purposes, however, same difference. As we noted yesterday, the governing idea seems to be to time a debt-ceiling crisis to Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. This would combine both a debt default cliff and a government shut down cliff on one big fiscal Armageddon day.
There are two goals to this. One is to add pressure by bundling all the bad, scary things into a single day (though I’m not sure that actually places more pressure on the White House) and also to make it a date certain. Currently, the Treasury is doing all these accounting tricks, juggling things in the air, also dealing with the uncertainty of just when tax revenues come in. It’s very hard to know just when the big moment comes and the Treasury doesn’t necessarily have a strong interest in telling the House just when that happens. If you’re planning a showdown you want to know exactly when showdown day is. This would provide that certainty for House Republicans. It would definitely come exactly on Sept. 30.Read More