Democrats: Hooked on a Ceiling

September 23, 2021

Convincing America to go along with their enormous spending plan has been an uphill slog for Democrats, but that's only half of the struggle. The measure is laden with so many whacky policies now that even fellow party members are opposed to it. With the country careening toward a fiscal cliff and a government shutdown on the table, House and Senate leaders have a choice: They can tamp down their $3.5 trillion shopping spree, or Democrats can go it alone and face the consequences. Either way, putting America on the path to socialism is a pricy gamble -- in dollars and seats.

The legislative puzzle hasn't been an easy one for Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) party to solve -- especially not with a growing political liability like Joe Biden at the helm. Desperate to pass her massive "human" infrastructure bill (where they've crammed Biden's entire domestic agenda, the NRO editors half-joke), they've hit a handful of roadblocks. For starters, moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) aren't comfortable piling the largest spending bill in history on top of the trillions of dollars America is already dishing out in COVID relief, unemployment checks, and stimulus programs. Like most people, they're not sure now is the time to add a massive social welfare bill on the mountain of debt our country is buried under.

Secondly, it's not a bill Democrats could pass without raising America's debt ceiling -- a move that Republicans refuse to support if it would only green light more Leftist spending. "We, as Republicans, are not going to be complicit in what they're doing here," Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) insisted on "Washington Watch." "It's like sending your kids to the mall with credit cards with no limits. We're not going to allow the Democrats to have Republicans join them in raising the debt ceiling in this outrageous, reckless spending spree they're on at the moment."

Adding to the drama, the annual funding for the government is scheduled to run out on September 30 -- which means that both parties have to come to some sort of agreement to keep the lights on through the end of the year. But unlike the infrastructure bill and debt ceiling increase -- which they can accomplish with a simple majority in the reconciliation process -- Democrats need the GOP's help with any continuing resolution to keep the government running. How much are they willing to give on their outrageous agenda to avoid a government shutdown? That's the $3.5 trillion dollar question.

Even if -- by some miracle -- they did strike a bargain with Republicans, there's still the looming problem of getting their own fractured caucus on board. The socialist wing of the House has already threatened to tank any deal that stands in the way of their government-funded child care, universal pre-K, "free" college, expanded Medicare, Green New Deal, and tax hikes. The Democratic leadership is in a jam, and something -- or someone -- will have to give. "Now in a challenging position as to which side she will ultimately give in to, Pelosi could doom her own party," Breitbart warns.

Of course, the party already seems determined to doom itself with its outrageous anti-Israel stance in the latest version of the continuing resolution. In a stunning move that proves just how radical the Democratic Party has become, the squad managed to strip out the funding for Israel's anti-missile defense system, known as the Iron Dome. It was a jaw-dropping play, even by this leadership's standards. As one House Democrat fumed, "A missile defense system like the Iron Dome defends civilians from missiles... [O]nly in a morally-inverted universe would this be considered a controversy."

And yet, those pulling the strings in the new Leftist-dominated Democratic Party are so hostile to Israel that they're willing to shut down the government to keep the Jewish State unprotected. "Stripping funding for Iron Dome only makes sense if the goal is to help Hamas become more efficient at killing civilians," Philip Klein argues. The fact that this is even a debate shows just how far the Democratic Party has shifted.

But Pelosi will have to draw a bright line on Israel if she wants to avoid a government shutdown. "They have to reinstate the Iron Dome funding," Daines insisted, or there's no deal. Either way, Democrats have the most to lose. According to polling, twice as many Americans would blame the president's party for a shutdown (33 percent) as Republicans (16 percent).

On the GOP side, there wasn't a whole lot of motivation for bailing out the Left to begin with. As Daines said, "If Washington Democrats want to jam through trillions of dollars in reckless spending all by themselves, they can raise the debt limit all by themselves." And own the consequences.