A Chequer-Board of Nights and Days Gets Results!

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on July 4, 2011

My publicized agreement with Bill Clinton is surely the catalyst for this1:

Republicans might accept a “mini” deal with the Obama administration on raising the debt limit, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a Republican leader, said yesterday on “Fox News Sunday.”

The idea may delay politically difficult decisions if it’s structured to postpone action on a larger package of spending cuts or revenue increases until after the 2012 election cycle, an analyst said.

“What we’ve been calling for is to have a down payment that’s as big as possible,” Marc Goldwein, former associate director of President Barack Obama’s debt commission, said yesterday in an interview.

The Senate shortened its July 4 recess and will remain in Washington to discuss a deal this week to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit. The Obama administration is negotiating with Congress on reducing the long-term budget deficit as part of a plan to raise the limit before borrowing authority expires.

Cornyn said that while Republicans would prefer a long-term settlement, they would accept a shorter-term agreement if that’s all they could get done. The Treasury Department has projected that on Aug. 2 the U.S. will no longer be able to meet obligations if the legal debt ceiling isn’t raised.

Of course, there are potential political benefits to this arrangement:

“The problem with a mini-deal is we have a maxi problem,” said Cornyn, who is in charge of the 2012 Republican Senate campaign strategy. “We’ll take the savings we can get now, and we will re-litigate this as we get closer to the election.”

A great way to fire up the base. In the meantime, it is nice to see that an effort is underway to ensure that we don’t end up bringing about a crisis that could make 2008 look like a cocktail party.

1I guarantee you that someone is going to think that I seriously believe a blog post of mine helped bring about a short-term compromise on the debt ceiling fight.

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