Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has an op ed in The Hill today, discussing the debt ceiling legislation.
On both sides flame throwers have turned their ire on the bill, sometimes bordering on hysteria. Senator McConnell is trying to quell the fire with “Bipartisan agreement will slow down big government freight train.”
He writes, “The push and pull Americans saw in Washington these past few weeks was not gridlock. It was the will of the people working itself out in a political system that was never meant to be pretty…I know that for some of my colleagues reform isn’t coming as fast as they would like. I understand their frustration. I, too, wish we could stand here today enacting something more ambitious.
“But I’m encouraged by the thought that these new leaders will help lead this fight until we finish the job. And I want to assure you today that although you may not see it this way, you’ve won the debate.”
McConnell acknowledges that this “legislation is just a first step.” We could have had more cuts, he says, but the delay will allow more input from the American people. He reassures Americans that the committee will be effective in curbing spending.
As he said two weeks ago on the Senate floor, the ultimate solution is to elect a new president and a Senate devoted to conservative principles. McConnell praises Speaker Boehner. Not too long ago the president was still insisting on tax increases. Even today he called for more “sharing” of the problem by “the wealthiest Americans” and “biggest corporations” and said “we can’t balance the budget on the backs of the very people who have borne the biggest brunt of this recession,” i.e. more taxes on the rest of the 50% that do pay taxes. Boehner avoided this scenario, even though he only has half of one of the three branches of government.
That is quite an achievement.
As McConnell concludes, “The bill does not solve the problem. But it forces Washington to admit that it has one.”
Those of us who remember the government shutdown of the ’90s also remember how it hurt the GOP. This time we were spared the media thrashing us unrelentingly and continually. While Republicans didn’t come out like heroes, we look better than the president, who definitely took a hit on his leadership skills.
It will be up to the American people to see to it that the course of the ship of state continues in the right direction.