Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Washington Post Columnist Says Mr. Obama Will Sign Republican Plan

He Explains the “Loophole” in the Veto Threat

Marc Thiessen writes a column for the opinion pages of the Washington Post, and has latched on to a very technical out for Mr. Obama should he be faced with the prospect of having to sign the Republican deficit reduction/debt ceiling plan.

Mr. Thiessen notes that the language coming out of the White House says only that

If S. 627 is presented to the President, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill .” (Emphasis in the original.)

This in and of itself sends a signal: The president is preserving his options. Which means that if House Republicans hold firm and pass the Boehner plan, Obama will sign it into law.

Look closely Mr. Thiessen says, Mr. Obama is not saying he will veto the bill, he is saying his advisers will advise him to do so.

The scenario here is one that The Dismal Political Economist has explained earlier.  Passage by the House of the Boehner plan and rejection by the Senate of the Reid plan will leave only the Boehner bill as possible legislation.  Under this scenario according to Mr. Thiessen

Senate Democrats will face a choice: Pass Boehner’s bill and send it to the president or take responsibility for causing a government default. Here’s my prediction: They will pass it. And Obama will sign it. 

With default looming, I’ll even wager that his senior advisors will “recommend” he do so.    

Of course, if this scenario does take place a Constitutional revolution will have also taken place.  Under current law,  the Speaker of the House is second in line for the Presidency.  If Mr. Obama follows this scenario, Speaker of the House John Boehner will become de facto President, an amazing development given that less than a year ago he was an obscure Congressman from Ohio who was Minority Leader of the House. 

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