If you thought President Obama was drawing a hard line on taxes, that’s nothing compared to the line he seemed ready to draw on lifting the debt ceiling. Obama warned Republicans that he wouldn’t let the debt ceiling be dragged into current negotiations over tax and deficit policy. LIMIT CONGRESS’ POWER TO HOLD THE DEBT CEILING HOSTAGE Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner proposed that the president should have the authority to raise the federal debt ceiling in order to avoid the federal government defaulting on its obligations. The president’s authority would be subject to a vote of disapproval by Congress. This is being called the “McConnell provision,” after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, who floated a similar idea in 2011. According to the Wall Street Journal, McConnell now opposes the idea, calling it “a nonstarter for those of us” who care about the federal debt, and “it also represents a dangerous attempt by a president to grab more power over spending, power that Congress must not and will not cede.” Experts say that making McConnell’s idea permanent is a smart move.
10 Dec 2012