Our Message Going in to the State of the Union

Yesterday, forty-six Senators (24 Republicans, 22 Democrats) voted down an amendment which, while raising the federal debt ceiling, would have required the creation of a bipartisan task force on deficit reduction. President Obama is expected to force the same by executive order; but he shouldn’t have to. This one event encapsulates, in its various parts, all the failures of the last year: obstructionist Republicans, cowardly Democrats, and the often-fatal effects of the supermajority requirement for cloture or, in this case, amendments on prior agreements.

Admittedly, the task force raises interesting questions of federalism — but let’s address those later. Our Senate, as it stands, isn’t just incapable of solving problems; it’s incapable of talking about solving problems. Enough — break’s over.

More later…


  1. How does this raise a federalism issue? It’s the Federal Debt we’re talking baout, not the aggregated debts of the states. the Deficit is also a Federal entity, as in it pertains to the operation o fthe Federal Goverment? How in the world is that not a federal issue? And what, besides action at the federal level would you propose to address supposed federalism bars? 50 state commissions?

    Hello, Information, can you give me the number for a cat herder?

  2. So, none of them voted against raising the debt ceiling because raising debt ceilings isn’t sound policy?

  3. That vote total was on the amendment, not the bill.

    1. Gotcha, I read it as a vote on something that both established the task force and raised the debt ceiling. But then I read today elsewhere that the debt ceiling was raised in a separate vote… which kinda scares me.

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