The Debt Ceiling Fight: Short Game vs Long Game

Should they vote for or against? Let’s look at two opposing conservative viewpoints.

In the current debt ceiling bill, there is a tool that requires the House to pass 12 separate appropriations bills from the 12 different appropriations sub-committees, and if they canโ€™t get these passed then it defaults automatically to pass a funding Continuous Resolution (CR) with an automatic 1% cut to funding. Some of Thomas Massie’s followers in the Freedom Caucus have their eyes on this tactic to reduce spending in the long game. Read the Twitter thread from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (above) which is summarized below and reflects the fact that Republicans only hold one of the three legislative offices and this gives them strong leverage.

Summarized:
In the past, the 12 appropriations bills were combined into bill packages, forcing everyone to vote for all 12 funding appropriations, even if they disagreed on some of them. Conservatives disliked this approach because they couldn’t vote no on bad appropriation bills and yes on the good ones. They could only vote yes or no to all of them.

Additionally, there was pressure to pass appropriations by the end of the year to avoid a government shutdown. Congress would often be in session on Christmas Eve, being pressured to vote on funding the government. This created a difficult situation where lawmakers couldn’t be home for Christmas and senior citizens wouldn’t receive their social security checks which pressurized a yea vote. These tactics, among others, contributed to our current debt of nearly $32 trillion and the debt ceiling issue we face.

However, with the Massie CR tool included in the bill that will be signed into law, the 12 appropriation bills will be separate. If conservatives refuse to vote for inadequate bills, we won’t have to deal with the pressure of a government shutdown. Instead, an automatic funding CR will be passed, funding the government at 99% with a 1% spending cut. This will remain in place until we pass 12 separate and good appropriation bills.

For strong conservatives like me and others, including Jim Jordan, Warren Davidson, and Thomas Massie, this is an opportunity to make real changes while fighting against various constraints. We also recognize the possibility of Chuck Schumer passing a clean debt ceiling raise in the Senate.

Chip Roy and Ben Cline are adamantly opposed