The answer to that rhetorical gouging is an emphatic: Yes! they can, and have already done so!
Fact is, the ONLY actual legislation for ending the debt-ceiling crisis was passed Monday by the U.S. House.
Its called “Cut, Cap, and Balance” and passed by a 234-190 tally in the House, including five votes from Democrats.
Cut, Cap, and Balance was then sent to the U.S. Senate, where, at the hysterical urging of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, it was tabled, 51-46.
All Republican Senators voted YES!
If just a couple of Democrats in the U.S. Senate had voted YES!, Cut, Cap, and Balance would have been headed to the president for signature.
The question then would be, “Can President Obama say YES! to a reasonable bill to end the debt ceiling crisis and tackle the deficit in a responsible manner?”
Bill Wilson of Americans for Limited Government put it this way as reported at the reference:
“The defeat today in the Senate of the ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ provision to deal with the debt ceiling crisis is a tragedy. We have lost, through this vote, not just the ability of any short term remedy, but the opportunity to put America on a trajectory for fiscal sustainability and a return to sound economic planning and thinking. Today is going to be marked, frankly, as a tragic day in American history. This is the day when the Senate went on record wanting to see America expand its debt, which will inevitably lead to the collapse of the dollar and the collapse of the U.S. economy.Thus, the issue drags on and the threat of a default remains alive.
“Credit rating agencies Moody’s and S&P have warned if a fiscal consolidation plan of at least $4 trillion is not put in place now, our Triple-A credit rating will be revoked. That will crash markets all over the world, mean higher interest payments, which already total in the hundreds of billions every year, and make the size of budget cuts needed even larger in the future. Washington simply is not taking this threat seriously. ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ is the only proposal on the table that can deal with this threat in a timely and effective manner, saving $5.8 trillion in the next ten years and balancing the budget.
“Senators who profess to support a Balanced Budget Amendment and who voted no on ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ have, through their deceit, tabled the one proposal that can prevent a downgrade. They are guaranteeing that their own states, which too will be affected by a Treasury downgrade, will have to make even higher interest payments on municipal debt. By fighting budget cuts in Washington, senators are guaranteeing bigger budget cuts at home down the road.
“When the nation is downgraded, and markets crash, the American people now have someone to blame: Those senators that refused to take the opportunity presented by ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ to restore order to the nation’s fiscal house.”
When will President Obama and Senate Democrats get serious about reigning in spending and cutting the deficit?
Can they say YES! to the “shovel ready” solution known as Cut, Cap, and Balance?