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October 07, 2013

How to End the Debt Ceiling Crisis Forever

Prior to 1995, the "Gephardt Rule" prevented stalemates over raising the nation's debt limit because whenever the House passed a budget resolution, the debt ceiling was deemed raised at the same time.

However, Josh Green notes Speaker Newt Gingrich, "fresh from the Republican triumph of the 1994 midterms, recognized the same thing that Tea Party Republicans recognize today: The threat of default could be used to extort Democratic concessions. Gingrich abolished the Gephardt Rule, and within the year the government had shut down."

"The way out of the crisis for Boehner and Obama is to agree on a deal that allows a modest, face-saving concession to Boehner -- medical-device tax repeal? -- in exchange for reimposing the Gephardt Rule. True, Obama says he won't negotiate over the debt ceiling. But his rationale is that doing so would fatally weaken future presidents, who'd be shaken down every time a debt-ceiling vote approached. If such votes were eliminated, Obama would have nothing to fear--and this damaging showdown could finally come to a close."


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