The dramatic failure of the U.S. Senate’s last-ditch Obamacare repeal effort leaves Republicans so far without a major legislative win since Donald Trump took office. No healthcare reform. No tax reform. No monetary reform. No budgetary reform.
The more things change in Washington... the more they stay the same.
Despite an unconventional outsider in the White House, it’s business as usual for entrenched incumbents of both parties. The next major order of business for the bipartisan establishment is to raise the debt ceiling above $20 trillion.
Since March, the Treasury Department has been relying on “extraordinary measures” to pay the government’s bills without breaching the statutory debt limit.
By October, according to Treasury officials, the government could begin defaulting on debt if Congress doesn’t approve additional borrowing authority.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants Congress to pass a “clean” debt limit increase. That would entail just signing off on more debt without putting any restraints whatsoever on government spending.
Fiscal conservatives hope to tie the debt ceiling hike to at least some budgetary reforms. But even relatively minor spending concessions will be difficult to obtain from the bipartisan establishment.
Democrats and a few left-leaning Republicans together have an effective majority in the U.S. Senate. They wielded their legislative might by defeating the GOP’s watered down Obamacare repeal bill, with the decisive “no” vote cast by ailing Republican John McCain.
It was exactly the sort of media spotlight moment Senator McCain has craved throughout his long political career.
The narcissistic Senator’s shtick is to posture as a selfless crusader for noble causes that his fellow Republicans just aren’t high-minded enough to get behind.
Yet for all his sanctimony, McCain is just as politically opportunistic and just as hypocritical as many of his Senate colleagues. The Senator from Arizona ran for re-election last time around on repealiång Obamacare. Yet when given the opportunity, he voted to keep it in place.
He campaigns as a conservative when it suits his political needs and portrays himself as a maverick when he wants media accolades. He legislates as neither a conservative nor a maverick but as an entrenched establishment incumbent. That can also be said of other big-name Republicans.
Trump’s Budget Cut Proposals Declared “Dead on Arrival” by Spending-Drunk Congress