While a startling number of House Republicans refuse to accept experts’ dires warnings about the possibility of default come Aug. 2 if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) thinks he has stumbled across the Obama administration’s real motivation behind choosing that date. Many Republicans think the August date is a phony deadline Democrats invented to scare Congress into raising the ceiling, but Gohmert sees a more personal significance for President Obama — his 50th birthday on Aug. 4 and his birthday party on the 3rd.
The fact that the party is the day after the debt deadline is something Gohmert finds awfully suspicious, he told Newsmax TV yesterday, suggesting that Obama chose the date so he could be a hero at his “birthday bash” for the “celebrities flying in from all over”:
GOHMERT: And I can’t help but be a little bit cynical here. Because we find out the president has a big birthday bash scheduled for August the 3rd, celebrities flying in from all over. And lo and behold, August 2nd is the deadline for getting something done so he can have this massive, the biggest fundraising dinner in history for a birthday celebration. [...] Isn’t that amazing? The timing of this?
It’s probably safe to assume that nobody’s birthday factored into the Treasury Department’s calculation of the deadline, as it was determined by projections of revenues and expenditures after the U.S. officially hit its debt limit in May. Even House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) agreed Aug. 2 is the drop dead date for raising the debt ceiling. But the fact that Gohmert would even dream up a scenario in which a politician would let his birthday play a significant role in serious policy-making perhaps says more about him than anything else.