Here we go again!!
It should come as little surprise to anyone living in Iowa that Iowa’s senators voted against allowing debate in the US Senate for the “For the People Act” that would level the playing field for all voters in federal elections. A vote to at least debate the “For The People Act” would be in the interest of Iowans who saw voter suppression shoved down their throats with little chance for input in the last legislative session.
This is hardly the first time and it certainly won’t be the last. Grassley has been little but a party hack for decades. Ernst didn’t get the reputation of being owned by the Koch brothers for nothing. Minority leader Mitch McConnell has openly declared he plans to stop anything the Biden administration proposes. McConnell knows he has Grassley and Ernst in his back pocket as he (McConnell) goes about destroying Biden’s plans.
Must be nice to have such loyalty. Iowa’s senators will gladly vote against legislation that is good for Iowans for purely party reasons and especially to satisfy their donors. This becomes a real problem because we have a deadline coming up that could be devastating to the economy and to all Americans.
That deadline is that the two tear debt ceiling agreement forged on July 31, 2019 expires on July 31, 2021. On August 1st the US will once again have to go through extraordinary measures to pay their bills. But this year the ability to maneuver has been limited by spending on the pandemic.
In the past couple of decades Republicans have precipitated a crisis around the expiration of the debt ceiling when a Democrat is president. Republican logic says that the voters will blame the president for not getting the debt ceiling fixed before it became an issue.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers Wednesday that they must raise or suspend the limit on total U.S. debt before August 1, or risk incurring “absolutely catastrophic economic consequences.”
A two-year agreement that has suspended the debt ceiling expires after July 31, at which point the Treasury would take what it calls extraordinary measures to keep paying the government’s bills. In the past, the Treasury’s extraordinary measures have provided a cushion of several months, but massive spending on Covid relief programs has muddied the financial picture. Speaking to a Senate subcommittee, Yellen said the government could run out of money at some point in August, possibly when Congress is out of town on its summer recess.
“I believe it would precipitate a financial crisis, it would threaten the jobs and savings of Americans, and at a time when we’re still recovering from the COVID pandemic,” Yellen said of a default.
“I would plead with Congress simply to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by acting to raise or suspend the debt limit as soon as possible.”
Here we have the makings of a perfect storm – an evenly divided Seate with a couple of maverick Democrats who no one is sure whether they will be team players when the chips are down. A Minority Leader looking to do some damage and an issue that will affect every American if the debt ceiling is not renewed.
Stay tuned as perhaps once more Republicans may take something that should be nothing and blow it into a full blown crisis with Mitch McConnell smirking his way through and Grassley and Ernst playing follow the leader while making somber sounding pronouncements.