Regardless of which party ends up with a House majority in the new Congress, we face another two years of gridlock by ideologically driven MAGA Republicans who are determined to impose their far-right, authoritarian policies on an American population that does not want them. Since they don’t and won’t have the congressional votes to enact their legislation, they’ve made it clear that they intend to double down on a strategy of creating artificial crises to blackmail Democrats into accepting repugnant policies and provisions.
Many times in the past, Republicans have created artificial emergencies by refusing to increase the debt ceiling unless we give in to their political extortion. If the US government ever actually hit the debt ceiling and defaulted on its obligations, the world economy would be thrown into a crisis that could result in a great depression on the scale of the 1930s. Republicans know that responsible Democrats cannot – and will not – risk the massive job losses, bankruptcies, foreclosures, inflation, and human misery that would ensue. But Trumpites see Democrats’ commitment to responsible governance as an opportunity for political hostage-taking, ramming through provisions and policies that they don’t have the votes to pass through normal legislation.
The current version of the debt ceiling law dates back to a 1995 maneuver by Republican then-leader Newt Gingrich that was explicitly intended to cripple the Clinton presidency. The GOP went on to use it ruthlessly against both Obama and Biden (though not, of course, against Bush II or Trump). During the upcoming “lame duck” session of Congress that runs from now until mid-December, we must call on Democrats to use their current majorities in both chambers to prevent Republicans from wielding the debt ceiling as a weapon of political blackmail during the next two years of the new Congress. This has to be done NOW, because once Republicans take control of the House in the new Congress that convenes in January, they will be in a position to create one debt ceiling crisis after another.
As Charlie Pierce put it in a recent Esquire article:
Do it now—a parliamentary commando raid to steal the nuclear weapon from the Republican bunker. The whole debt ceiling business was a bad idea at the start, and it’s gotten worse as the years have gone by. Remember during the Obama administration when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called it a “hostage worth taking”? That got the Republicans some spending cuts they wouldn’t have been able to score otherwise. Why wouldn’t they try it again?
Contact the White House and your MoCs and tell them: Pass legislation now, during the lame duck session, to keep Republicans from holding us hostage with the debt limit!
Join the fight to elect Rev. Warnock to the Senate
The US Senate race in Georgia is headed for a runoff. That election will be held on December 6—which gives us mere weeks to get out the vote again.
We will hold a special runoff edition of Pints & Postcards this Sunday from 4–6pm at Standard Deviant. This will be our only Pints & Postcards for this runoff, as the week after that is Thanksgiving, and Election Day, Tuesday Dec. 6, follows soon after.
Celebrating our election wins
In America, voters, not politicians, decide who wins elections. We can only know the winner after every vote is counted.
We’ve already notched some impressive victories across the country and held the line against MAGA Republicans with authoritarian tendencies. We’ve defended our Senate majority and—if the runoff goes our way—we’ll even expand it. But there are some races that are still very tight and will come down to the wire; until we know for sure how those go, keep calm and wait for all the votes to be counted.
Read more in our blog post, “Keep Calm and Count All the Votes.”
Ballot curing: help fellow voters get their ballots counted
All revved up from GOTV work and want to continue saving democracy? Relatively minor voter errors often lead to ballots being rejected, so about half the states have a process called “ballot curing” that lets voters fix errors on their mail-in ballots. Join Field Team 6 to call voters in those states who need help exercising their right to cure their ballots.
If you’re interested in participating in activities like drafting letters to our Members of Congress and developing our strategy for influencing them, the Indivisible SF Federal Working Group is where it happens. Our next meeting is Thursday, Dec. 8.
Pints & Postcards: Sunday, Nov. 20, 4-6 PM at Standard Deviant. Special Runoff Edition: join us to write postcards to Georgia to GOTV for the Senate runoff! RSVP here.
Indivisible SF Federal Working Group: Thursday, Dec. 8, 7:30-9 PM Planning meeting where we discuss strategy to influence our Members of Congress and the Biden administration to enact a progressive agenda. Meeting starts promptly at 7:30pm. All are welcome. Register here!
About this week’s photo
If you’ve seen our newsletter posts on Twitter and Facebook, you might have noticed that we include a photo or graphic with each issue.
Today’s image is a photo of Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock by John Bazemore for AP, featured in their article about the runoff.
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