In several recent posts I’ve told you that most of the near-term (pre-2024) dangers of a GOP House majority are manageable. I don’t mean “no big deal.” It’s disaster after disaster. But I mean manageable in the sense of things the country can get through. With one exception: a debt-limit hostage-taking stand-off in 2023 in which House Republicans force the first U.S. debt default in U.S. history. Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s election it will be within Democrats’ power to prevent this crisis in advance by settling the debt limit issue during the lame duck session of Congress. Whatever the political complexities, it is straightforward as a technical matter. Pass a bill in the House raising the debt limit high enough to take the issue off the table for years to come. Then take one of the remaining “reconciliation vehicles” on the Senate side and pass the law with 50 votes. Done and done.
But here’s the thing. We had a great TPM virtual event last night with two of the most knowledgable people about the U.S. senate, Adam Jentleson and Steve Clemons. Both agreed that there’s virtually no chance Democrats are going to do this.