The Washington Post reports that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is pitching a non-deal on the debt ceiling. The proposal is fairly far into the legislative weeds, but it involves having President Obama ask for a request in the debt ceiling, which Republicans would reject. President Obama would veto the rejection, and Republicans would let the veto stand.
Producer Mike Yarvitz forwards this rough verbate of Senator McConnell talking to reporters just now:
We would authorize him to request of us that we raise the debt ceiling for the amount he says he needs … the way it would work is the legislation would authorize him to get to the amount he says he needs– based upon the advice of his Secretary of the Treasury– in three tranches. The first tranche $700 billion, the second tranche $900 billion, the third tranche $900 billion. Once the request is made, it would be appropriate in either or both houses for a resolution of disapproval to be taken up on an expedited procedure … if the resolution of disapproval achieved a majority, it would go down to him where he could either sign it or veto it. My assumption is that he would veto it. And that veto would be sustained by one-third plus one in either of the houses. That’s the way it would work.
We would not give him unilateral authority to cut spending on his own, but we would require him to specify cuts he would make, if he could, commensurate with the amount that the tranche is asking for … this is not my first choice. My first choice is to get an agreement with the President to significantly reduce spending. And we’re going to continue to talk to them about that in the hopes that we can get there, because that’s what we think is the single biggest problem … [but] what we’re not going to be a party to in the Senate, I’m pretty confident, is default. And the only way you can get an agreement that actually achieves something is when the President signs it. To actually reduce spending requires not just Republicans, but a Democratic Senate and a Democratic President. And we’re still hoping to achieve spending reductions that he will sign. That’s my first choice.
Senate Republicans would be able to pass three separate resolutions of disapproval, the Washington Post reports. They’d also get $2.5 trillion in proposed spending cuts – the Biden deal, in essence, or at least the Biden cuts. And they wouldn’t have to take the heat for Social Security checks not going out if the government can’t pay its bills, which President Obama suggested could happen. The Republicans would win what’s there for them to win. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he’s open to considering Mr. McConnell’s idea.
Way more on the show, of course. After the jump, the Senate rules about resolutions of disapproval.
The Congressional Review Act of 1996 established expedited (or “fast track”) procedures by which Congress may disapprove a broad range of regulatory rules issued by federal agencies by enacting a joint resolution of disapproval. For initial floor consideration, the Act provides an expedited procedure only in the Senate. (The House would likely consider the measure pursuant to a special rule.) The Senate may use the procedure for 60 days of session after the agency transmits the rule to Congress. In both houses, however, to qualify for expedited consideration, a disapproval resolution must be submitted within 60 days after Congress receives the rule, exclusive of recess periods. Pending action on a disapproval resolution, the rule may go into effect, unless it is a “major rule” on which the President or issuing agency does not waive a delay period of 60 calendar days.
If a disapproval resolution is enacted, the rule may not take effect and the agency may issue no substantially similar rule without subsequent statutory authorization. If a rule is disapproved after going into effect, it is “treated as though [it] had never taken effect.” If either house rejects a disapproval resolution, the rule may take effect at once. If the President vetoes the resolution, the rule may not take effect for 30 days of session thereafter, unless the House or Senate votes to sustain the veto. If a session of Congress adjourns sine die less than 60 days of session after receiving a rule, the full 60-day periods for action begin anew on the 15th day of session after the next session convenes.