As part of the effort to fund the government, and this time, by the way to prevent default on our national debt, the House last week passed a CR that included an amendment that guaranteed that interest and principle on our national debt instruments would be paid first out of all the revenues coming in to the Federal government—an amount that exceeds the value of those payments by a factor of around 10.
When the CR got to the Senate,
[Senate Majority Leader Harry, D, NV] Reid moved to strip it out, and his motion passed the Senate 54 to 44 [a straight party line vote].
Last May, the House had passed that amendment as a stand-alone bill, but President Barack Obama said he’d veto the bill if it got to his desk:
unwise, unworkable, and unacceptably risky.
You read that correctly. Obama said it was unwise, unworkable, and unacceptably risky actually to pay our debts ahead of any other obligations the Federal government might dream up.
Reid’s reason for stripping that amendment from last week’s bill? It’s clear from his derisive title for it: “The Pay China First Act.” I’ll elide the open racism in Reid’s title; he also simply sees no the value in paying our debts ahead of any other obligations.
This line is drawn clearly, also, it seems. Not only have the Democrats in the Senate and the White House fought hard for a government shutdown—which they got with their refusal to negotiate on any funding bill sent them by the House—now they’ve shown themselves dedicated to holding our economy and our nation’s welfare hostage against their threatened default.
And for what, exactly?