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July 15th, 2011 6:19 pm
Why Not a Short-Term Deal?

Charles Krauthammer suggests (more a command, really) calling President Barack Obama’s bluff about a “long-term deal or nothing” on a debt default deal: a short-term deal that extends the negotiating clock instead.

The Republican House should immediately pass a short-term debt-ceiling hike of $500 billion containing $500 billion in budget cuts. That would give us about five months to work on something larger.

Why not?  Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to give the president authority to raise the debt ceiling on his own just stokes an already imperial presidency.  What’s more, McConnell’s reservation of oversight to Congress by a 2/3 vote to block the president from raising the debt ceiling is constitutionally suspect because it sounds suspiciously like an impermissible legislative veto.  Since the Supreme Court has said that Congress can’t overrule Executive decisions once Congress delegates its authority, don’t be surprised if McConnell’s clever power switch gives unilateral discretion to a big-spending liberal president without any means of checking him.

Far better to go with Krauthammer’s suggestion since it keeps the focus on spending and the economy and relieves the pressure of a debt default while the parties get serious about specifics.

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