As House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) struggles to get his caucus’ collective “ass in line” for today’s vote on his re-worked debt ceiling plan, a growing number of House Democrats are pushing for a vote on a clean debt ceiling increase. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and the Congressional Black Caucus — save Rep. Allen West (R-FL) — were rounding up support for a plan that, absent a debt deal that can pass in both chambers, will just raise the debt ceiling to prevent default this coming Tuesday.
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) predicted that this is the exact scenario Congress will face. “I think we’re going to end up in a stalemate,” said Cummings:
CUMMINGS: I think we’re at a point where the Republicans have pushed and pushed, haven’t given much at all, and now I think we’re going to end up in a stalemate. I anticipate that the Boehner bill will get through the House today after he’s pushed his folks kind of hard and then it’ll be dead on arrival once it get’s to the Senate, then the Senate will send something over.
And then I think the president is going to have to step in. Then he’s going to have to say ‘Look guys, there doesn’t seem to be an agreement here. And so basically let’s send this clean extension.’ By the way, which is what just about every member of the Democrats on the House side are petitioning for. And I think we’ll resolve this matter. And that’s the way it should’ve been. I still think this whole thing has been manufactured.
Some Democrats are even calling for Obama to use the untested legal option, via the 14th Amendment, to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling without congressional consent. “We’re getting down to decision time,” said Rep. John Larson (D-CT). “We have to have a fail-safe mechanism. We believe that fail-safe mechanism is the 14th Amendment and the president of the United States.”