The Senate votes are in. The debt ceiling deal passes. Both Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman voted for passage. Roby Brock has all the details, complete with quotes and other info, on the Arkansas delegation’s votes.
Months ago, as was widely predicted by close observers of U.S. politics, the GOP turned a simple recipe for avoiding this calamity — clean legislation to raise the debt limit — into a time bomb. The code to defuse the time bomb was an arbitrary, but highly ideological, policy formula: First, massive cuts to federal spending — one dollar of budget cuts for every dollar of new borrowing authority. Second, a guarantee that some of those cuts come from Medicare — a cynical gambit to force Democrats to take co-ownership of the GOP’s entitlement onslaught, which backfired on them when they passed a budget that called for the dismantling of that program. Third, caps on discretionary spending — the one part of the budget that hasn’t ballooned in the last decade, and provides most direct services to regular people. Fourth, no new tax revenues.
The Democrats’ first error was not taking this threat seriously.