07.11.2011 0

Default OK with Obama

By Rick Manning – President Obama’s statement that he would not sign a short-term debt extension should be a signal to everyone that he is willing to accept default as an option.

Ultimately, Obama only gets to decide whether he will sign a law or not. It is up to the House and Senate to pass legislation to give him that option.

The fact that Obama is now saying that default is a better option than a short-term deal exposes the false choices and phony deadlines being foisted upon House Republicans by the administration and its media allies.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) needs to put an end to this charade by passing legislation that raises the debt ceiling with the maximum amount of spending cuts that the House will accept.

Sending a debt-ceiling increase bill to the Senate will then pass the hot potato to Harry Reid and his merry band of do-nothings. Given that Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) has been missing in action on the whole debt-ceiling debate, allowing the executive branch to reach beyond its constitutional authority to speak for him, it is time for the baton to be passed to him to get something done in the Senate.

After the Senate does something (unlikely though it may be) the two houses can work out their differences and send the executive branch a bill that the president may choose to sign or not.

The system worked for more than 220 years. Now, in the face of an economic crisis, our leaders have devolved into a feudal system where the “great leaders” meet behind closed doors and impose settlements on the people.

Speaker Boehner needs to end the madness by returning the debt-ceiling debate to our system of separation of powers. If he does his job and a debt-ceiling increase passes the House, then all eyes have to shift to the Senate for action.

Ultimately, if Obama chooses to veto what the House and Senate mutually agreed upon, then he will be the one who has chosen default as the better of the alternatives put on his desk.

The truth is that all these closed-door negotiations by the White House are nothing more than an attempt to run out the clock on the normal legislative process, and force a bad deal where the details aren’t disclosed until after it becomes law.

We’ve seen how it turns out when a Speaker declares that a law will have to be passed in order for the people to find out what is in it. Let’s hope Boehner doesn’t make the same mistake as his predecessor.

Rick Manning is the communications director for Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Rick on Twitter at @RManning957. This post was originally featured at The Hill’s Pundits Blog.

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