StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

Not A Surprise: GOP Plans Vote On Debt Ceiling Bill Next Week

25 May 2011
Posted by Stan Collender

As I posted several weeks ago, with polls showing that 70 percent or so of Americans don't want the federal debt ceiling to be raised, congressional leaders had to give their members a chance to oppose an increase so that they had a vote on the record to show their constituents.  I said, many representatives and senators were going to have to show they were against it before they ultimatey voted for it.

That's why it was anything but surprising when, as reported in Roll Call,  House Republicans announced yesterday that they would bring a "clean" debt ceiling to the House floor next week.  Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), whose committee has to draft the bill,  also said he would -- surprise, surprise -- vote against the bill.

The GOP leadership says it wants to use the vote to demonstrate that there's no support for raising the debt ceiling unless the legislation also includes deficit reductions.  But there's no mistaking the fact that, by allowing members to vote against it now, the leadership will also be making it easier for some of them to vote for a debt ceiling increase later this summer.

The only question is whether financial markets will be upset by what is virtually certain to be a defeat of a debt ceiling increase.  My strong suspicion is that, because the vote will take place so much before the August 2 drop-dead date the Treasury keeps citing, markets make get the financial equivalent of indigestion but nothing close to a full stomach flu.



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