Good news, everyone! The House Republicans have passed a bill that “would allow limited borrowing to make payments to federal bondholders, then Social Security recipients, even if the Treasury is prohibited from borrowing to finance the rest of the government.” Democrats call it the “pay China first” bill.
But why is this breaking news? This version of the bill just passed, sure, but Republicans did the exact same thing in 2011. Early on, when it became clear that they were willing to go to the endzone on a debt ceiling increase, Republicans rallied around Pat Toomey’s idea to “require the Treasury to make interest payments on our debt its first priority in the event that the debt ceiling is not raised.” Democrats called this “pay China first,” and kept calling it that as Republicans, bitter that the president was “holding hostage” all of those nice old people and military veterans who counted on federal checks, added them into the proposal.
Honestly, I’m not sure how the media-industrial complex will survive another debt limit battle. There’s nothing new to say—it’s like finding deep meaning in Grease 2 or Gary Cherone’s versions of classic Van Halen songs.