The one and only thing that was good about yesterday’s vote in the U.S. House on the debt limit was that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., made a surprise showing in the House chamber to cast her vote. Giffords had been absent from the House since January after being shot in the head. Thank God she is well enough to return to the House.
That was the one good thing.
The bill, the final product, those in leadership working on the bill, and most of the elected folks in the House, the Senate, and the White House have all terribly disappointed most of the citizens in this country the last few weeks. That disappointment reached the zenith yesterday evening and will continue today with the senate vote.
The final vote on the debt limit bill was 269 for it and 161 against it. Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, voted against the bill. I had predicted he would vote for it, so I was mildly surprised.
Yesterday I wrote that I was against the bill.
The United States Senate will vote on the bill today and it’s expected to pass that chamber and head to the President’s desk for signature. Montana’s two Democratic U.S. Senators, Max Baucus and Jon Tester, will follow like sheep and vote for the bill (if this article is correct) just as Harry Reid and Barack Obama have ordered.
Tester was quoted saying “This isn’t the bill I would have written” so most of us are wondering why he did not get off his butt and help write a bill that actually does something substantial. As for Baucus, he claims he supports the bill to get the “economy moving forward” and some of us have to wonder how many times Baucus has used that tired old term during his lackluster career.
But then again the United States Senate under Democratic control has not passed a budget in over 800 days.
The “can has been kicked down the road” by all who voted for this bill. The House, Senate and White House had months to devise a plan – or use a plan put forth by the President’s bipartisan debt commission last December. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was co-chaired by former Republican Senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, former Chief of Staff to President Clinton. By the way, Max Baucus was a member.
Sadly, hardly anyone has the political courage to support the commission’s recommendations.
What really moved the House, Senate and President to get something done was that it is time for August fundraising and recess! This is when members take a few junkets, attend picnics, shake a few hands to let their constituents know they attempting to earn their $174,000 per year paycheck and most importantly attend fundraisers.
Several candidates for U.S. House were asked about their ideas for the debt bill and there were some interesting comments. You can read that story HERE.
This morning the debt clock shows that we are approximately $14, 500,998,000,000 – that’s $14.5 trillion in debt. This bill does little to stop our debt from increasing – it’s like a person standing in front of a freight train trying to stop it with just their arms.
Faithful readers should write $14.5 trillion on the calendar under August 2, 2011. Check that number against the debt clock in a month. Check it in three months. Check it in six months and watch the debt grow – this bill does nothing to stop it.
Most importantly, check it in November 2012 and vote accordingly.