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Fattah Throws Hat Into Fiscal Cliff Ring

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Philadelphia) is the latest PA politico to step into the ‘fiscal cliff’ spotlight, introducing a bill that would mainstream how the debt ceiling would be raised.

The “Ending Fiscal Cliffs” act would allow President Obama to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally, a move that has been talked about all week as a move to further avoid fiscal stress. Fattah is the first to take initiative and actually make an official proposal. 

“When Congress orders from the menu of spending, they shouldn’t then expect a second debate over whether or not to pay the bill,” said Fattah in a release. “Whether you pay cash or put in on a credit card, you ordered the food and you’re the one who agreed to pay.”

“This bill clarifies what’s at stake in the current budget-spending-revenue debate that has been labeled ‘the fiscal cliff.’ How much money the federal government should raise and spend is an important, fundamental debate for Congress. But the current impasse inevitably arises from the short-term, short-sighted resolution to a previous ‘fiscal cliff,’ which traces directly to the 2011 debt ceiling crisis.”

This move does not come without GOP scorn. They argue that debt-ceiling negotiations are the only time they ever squeeze out agreements to reduce federal spending. So expect little traction for Fattah’s bill in the GOP controlled house, as the move is considered all but a show of support for Obama.

Fattah is not the only member of the PA Delegation to make some noise in the fiscal cliff talks. Senator Bob Casey recently called for an extension of the payroll tax cut for middle income families, which is set to expire at the end of the year. Rep. Allyson Schwartz has also made some public appearances stressing the need to protect medicare during the fiscal cliff negotiations.

3 Responses

  1. Mike, you lost me at “racist african american[sic] congressman from philly…” I don’t know which is worse, your own ironic diatribe or PoliticsPA for allowing you to post it. I thought that Article I, section 8, of the U.S. constitution empowers Congress to “pay the debts” and “borrow money on the credit of the United States.” Section 7 of Article I says that “all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” Whether that language would necessarily preclude or permit the president to raise the debt limit is probably a debate better settled in a courtroom. In the meantime, the idea that a president (whether s/he be black, brown, yellow or white, democrat, republican, or other) should have the power to raise the debt limit, under limited circumstances and within reasonable constraints — especially when the House and Senate can’t agree to do so — is an idea worthy of discussion. Maybe all appropriations and budget reconciliation bills should include a proviso that automatically increases the debt limit whenever taxes or other revenue aren’t raised to cover the bills’ aggregate costs. In any event, Mike, I don’t see where the constitution says the House has the “final word on monetary policy,” only the first word on raising revenue.

  2. I support the final word on monetary policy staying where the constitution puts it – in the hands of the house. Only a racist african americann congressman from philly, who, in his own demented mind believes he is helping a fellow african american out, would introduce such a stupid bill. Even Pelosi laughed at this. Yet fattah, instead of being angry the president has tried to pull a Morsi and stomp all over his power, believes he should just give it away. What an idiot.

  3. I support the President’s initiative to move this Nation forward. We cannot have the Republicans hold this nation hostage for another 4 years.

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