The New York Times reports today that Moody’s “warned that it would downgrade the government’s debt if no solution [to the fiscal cliff] was found by year’s end. . . . The Moody’s warning comes a year after its rival, Standard & Poor’s, downgraded the United States’ credit worthiness after the protracted stalemate over raising the nation’s statutory borrowing limit. . . . The agency said Washington must come to agreement to head off billions of dollars in simultaneous tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to begin in January — and to put the government on a sustainable fiscal trajectory. Only then would the United States keep its AAA rating.”
Yet Senate Democrats seem content to do nothing before November to address the massive tax hikes and painful defense cuts scheduled in January. National Journal writes, “The Senate will head home after taking up the continuing resolution next Thursday. Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that once the Senate votes on the resolution to keep the government funded, they’re unlikely to accomplish anything else this session. He said he plans to ‘run out the clock’ on a veterans jobs bill that is up for consideration this week.”
So with the fiscal cliff and another potential credit rating downgrade facing the United States, Democrats remain determined to do nothing. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wrote inPolitico on Monday, “Following the president’s lead, Democrats in Congress refuse to develop the kind of responsible, concrete plan to avert the impending ‘fiscal cliff’ that House Republicans voted on weeks ago. . . . Trying to avoid all responsibility for the problems we face, or the pressing challenges ahead, Democrats have simply sat on their hands, preferring to tell tall tales about what’s happening in Washington rather than doing anything about it. They appear ready to ride out the rest of the year doing virtually nothing about the problems we face as a nation — astronomical debt, a looming tax hike, crippling defense cuts and an anemic recovery that all these things promise to make even worse.”
On The Floor
This morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered the following statement on the attacks against our diplomatic posts abroad: “We learned yesterday, and are receiving reports this morning, of the attacks against the United States Embassy in Cairo and the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In Benghazi our Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in service to our nation. Our thoughts and sympathy today are with the families of these brave Americans. These attacks remind us of the sacrifices made on a daily basis by foreign service officers, diplomatic security personnel, and our Marine Security Guards.
“I join my colleagues in strongly condemning the murder of these innocent Americans. And I support employing every available tool at our disposal to ensure the safety of Americans overseas and to hunt down those responsible for these attacks. Yesterday we commemorated the anniversary of the attacks of September 11, and today we are reminded that brave Americans serve us every day at the risk of their own lives. We honor the Americans we lost in Libya, and we will stand united in our response. Among the things we can all agree on in Washington is that attacks on the U.S. and its representatives will be met with resolve, and that America’s presence and defense of our national interests across the globe will not be deterred by the acts of violent extremists.”
The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today and resumed post-cloture consideration of S. 3457, the Veterans Jobs Corps bill.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 95-1 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 3457.