Another day, another example of Washington playing political games with incredibly consequential issues. The topic is government funding and the debt limit. What used to be an inconsequential procedural vote has turned into another grand battle between the two parties.

Democrats had the opportunity to include the debt limit in their reconciliation instructions as an insurance policy. They chose not to, which looks like a significant lapse in judgment. Republicans, on the other hand, are making the bizarre argument that the party in power has the sole responsibility to raise the debt ceiling, despite Democrats participating in raising the debt ceiling multiple times during the Trump administration.

While Republicans are ostensibly arguing due to the upcoming reconciliation package, their intellectual dishonesty is clear, as Democrats helped suspend the debt ceiling after Republicans passed their partisan tax cuts in 2017, using the exact mechanism they chide Democrats for using now.

Currently, both parties are talking at, instead of with, each other. They are playing Russian roulette with the stability of the U.S. and global economy and the country’s general welfare. Republicans should stop their cynical political calculations and honestly come to the table. Democrats should stop making intellectual arguments and move quickly to begin the tedious process of raising the debt ceiling via a party-line vote.

The prospect of breaching the debt ceiling and the catastrophic collapse of the economy into another 2008-like recession is not a game. Both parties, but especially Republicans, should stop treating it as such.

Daniel Hutchins
candidate, master of liberal arts in government, Harvard University School of Continuing Education

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