Tuesday's HOT MIC
Weak, big government Republicans are using Hurricane Harvey victims as human shields to hide from criticism while raising the debt ceiling.
Congress is expected to pass relief aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey as early as Wednesday and GOP leaders are looking to take advantage of the overwhelming political support for it by including controversial legislation to lift the debt ceiling in the overall package, multiple congressional sources tell NBC News.
The House of Representative will vote on a $7.85 billion Harvey relief bill Wednesday, a package that is expected to pass overwhelmingly. And it couldn't come soon enough: FEMA has alerted Congress that their disaster relief funds will likely run out this Friday, Sept. 8, according to multiple congressional aides and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
The measure will then go to the Senate where Republican leaders will add legislation to increase the debt limit, beating an end-of-September deadline where the U.S. Treasury would no longer be able to pay its existing bills.
The notion that a debt ceiling or limit exists is now one of the cruelest jokes in politics. A limit that can be arbitrarily changed ad infinitum is not a limit at all.
There was a point in the not-too-distant past when a majority of elected Republicans had an interest in controlling debt, spending, and the size of government. Their attempts to do so didn't always work, usually because they didn't have sufficient numbers.
By the early part of this century, the party had transitioned to one that merely gave lip service to any of this, and that was frustrating. Now, they don't even pay lip service to it. This group would be right at home in the Democratic party of the late 1970s.
I fear that this is a permanent shift for the party and that the course can't be reversed. Naturally, I would like to be proven wrong on this point.