Top GOP ‘Moderate’ Endorses Debt Ceiling Hostage Taking

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 26: Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

We’ve mentioned before that the one clean way to avoid a national debt default is a discharge petition in which a small number (at least 6) of House Republicans join with Democrats to force a vote on a clean debt ceiling. Once that happens, the two sides can get down to negotiating a budget. But today, Don Bacon (R-NE) — Washington’s favorite GOP “moderate” — came out categorically against the idea. As reporter and TPM alum Sahil Kapur puts it, if Bacon won’t do it probably no Republicans will.

In announcing his alliance with Freedom Caucus hardliners, Bacon went the extra step of endorsing their false claims about negotiations. “I think [the discharge petition approach is] DOA. Because the president’s got to make some compromises with Republicans. For him to say my way or the highway — no way.”

This is absurd. The President has made clear he’ll negotiate a budget. That’s how the system works. The White House, the House and the Senate have to agree on a budget for the government to function. What he has said he won’t do is negotiate over whether the House will force the United States to default on its debt obligations for the first time in almost 250 years.

I’m sure Bacon is a decent fellow in many ways. But this is today’s Republican Party. It’s run by the Freedom Caucus. Even those who know better fall in line.

Latest Editors' Blog
  • |
    July 24, 2024 11:12 p.m.

    Today is the end of the first week of this year’s annual TPM Journalism Fund drive. We’re doing everything we…

  • |
    July 24, 2024 6:24 p.m.

    According to some of the country’s most prominent news publications, the Democratic establishment moved quickly beginning Sunday afternoon to lock…

  • |
    July 24, 2024 10:09 a.m.

    As we’ve noted a few times, we’re now in the midst of a race for each campaign to define Kamala…

  • |
    July 23, 2024 6:34 p.m.

    I want to send a huge thank you to the 1601 TPM Readers who have given so far to this…

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: