COMPASS: Congress votes to increase the debt ceiling

October 11th, 2021

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill.

The House returns briefly this evening to vote on a short-term debt limit deal that would raise the debt limit by $480 billion through December 3rd. This comes after Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell walked back his pledge not to help Democrats raise the debt ceiling. Last Thursday, 11 Republican senators provided the 60 votes necessary to break the filibuster on the measure, before then voting against final passage of the legislation.

McConnell has since sent a letter to President Biden claiming his conference will not step in again to help Democrats when the debt ceiling again needs to be raised in December. But that’s what he said last week, before going ahead and doing it anyway.

Despite Democrats going all in for $3.5 trillion in spending (don’t worry, they claim its true cost is $0), neither party wants responsibility for raising the debt ceiling. When the House votes on the measure tonight, they’ll do so without actually voting on it. Rather than a stand-alone vote, the measure passes as part of a self-executing rule, meaning when the rule passes (the rule sets up parameters of debate on the bill itself), the debt ceiling will be considered as passed without a separate vote being taken.

Even worse, much of the votes tonight are expected to be cast “by proxy” — that is, not in person. The House is still operating under Constitutionally dubious proxy voting rules, instituted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and not yet rescinded. (For more details, here is a piece I wrote about proxy voting last year.)

“Process arguments” often get dismissed by the pundit class as trivial and ancillary to the larger debate itself. But by understanding the process by which legislation is written, considered, and passed, it becomes clear how often the process is manipulated to shield elected representatives from accountability for the one thing the Constitution actually requires of them: voting. 

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One More Thing…

CPI is proud to announce the launch of our new podcast, Who’s Counting with Cleta Mitchell. It’s available at or on any of the usual places you’d find podcasts. There’s also a great write up about it in Townhall:

Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who assisted with former President Donald Trump’s legal work around the 2020 election, spoke exclusively with Townhall about her efforts to increase election security and confidence in elections with a brand new podcast titled “Who’s Counting.”

Mitchell explained that her podcast will be “about all things related to elections, election integrity, and it’s not about campaigns, it’s about elections and how they’re supposed to work, and how maybe they don’t always work the way that they’re supposed to work.” She added that she’ll cover “the issues and the problems and how we make sure that they are fair and honest and that people trust the outcome.”

Mitchell added that her main goal with the podcast is to make sure Americans “have information about how people can get personally involved.”

Find her podcast on Spotify, Apple, YouTube, Rumble, Facebook, and GETTR