Ashley Feinberg · 09/30/15 09:34AM

The House has invoked martial law for the second time this month, allowing them to vote on a stopgap spending bill this morning and keeping our barely functioning government from grinding to a halt for at least another few months. Progress!

Boehner Considering Not Completely Fucking the Country Over Before He Vacates Office

Ashley Feinberg · 09/29/15 11:57AM

While Boehner is almost sure to stave off a government shutdown before the September 30 deadline, the looming debt ceiling—which we’re estimated to reach sometime in mid-December—presents a much larger problem. But earlier this morning, Boehner told reporters that he’s not ruling out a vote to raise the country’s borrowing limit. And considering Boehner’s replacement will likely be far more compliant to the party’s whims, this could be the best chance we’ve got.

Former Mint Director Who Wrote 'Trillion-Dollar Coin' Law Explains Why the Coin Isn't a Bad Idea

Max Read · 01/08/13 02:30PM

It's not every day you get an email from a former director of the U.S. Mint (unless you're married to one, probably) — but it's also not every day that you write about the very real possibility that the U.S. Treasury might mint a platinum coin worth one trillion dollars. Either way, it was an excellent surprise to hear from Philip Diehl, the former Mint director and Treasury chief of staff who drafted Sec. 5112 of title 31, United States Code with Rep. Mike Castle — in other words, the guy who wrote the "trillion-dollar coin" law. His take? Not only does the law clearly allow for the coin to be minted, it also would have "no negative macroeconomic effects."

Your Guide to the Trillion-Dollar Platinum Coin That Obama Can Mint to Save the World

Max Read · 01/07/13 01:30PM

Today, New York Times columnist and Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman wrote that President Obama should be "absolutely" prepared to mint a one trillion dollar platinum coin and use it to pay the government's bills. It wasn't a typo: a lot of people are discussing the trillion-dollar coin as a way to avoid a fight over the debt ceiling. But what is it? And why? And whose face will be on it? Here's our guide.

The Supercommittee's Brilliant Plan to Punt Yet Again

Jim Newell · 11/14/11 04:11PM

Here's a brief guide to congressional debt politics in 2011: In the debt ceiling deal, $1 trillion in spending cuts (or caps on future spending, mostly) was made, while punting at least $1.2 trillion in additional savings to be determined by a supercommittee, later. The supercommitee, now, is considering this brave solution as its deadline nears: Making trillions in additional spending cuts, while punting decisions on additional tax revenue to be determined by congressional finance committees, later.

Republican Congressmen Accidentally Love Raising the Debt Ceiling

Jim Newell · 09/16/11 04:20PM

The unprecedented dumb carnival stunts that were struck as part of the deal to allow the government to issue debt for spending measures it's already passed popped up again earlier this week, as the House passed a meaningless "resolution of disapproval" for the latest $500 billion in borrowing authority. But some Republican members of Congress were so used to voting "no" on anything tangentially related to the debt ceiling that they accidentally voted against the resolution of disapproval, like clowns.

Michele Bachmann Uses Anti-Facts to Explain the S&P Downgrade

Jim Newell · 08/09/11 11:42AM

So Michele Bachmann kept her campaign promise about not voting to raise the debt ceiling. She voted against everything, however Tea Partyish — including Cut, Cap and Balance — that would have raised it one farthing's worth. And now, in a spectacularly brazen dismemberment of factual truth, she's blaming S&P's decision to downgrade U.S. debt on the fact that the debt ceiling was raised at all.

U.S. Credit Rating Downgraded for First Time

Max Read · 08/06/11 08:48AM

When you woke up this morning, did everything seem a little less... reliable? It did, didn't it? That's because credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's no longer regards the U.S. as a risk-free borrower, despite a $2 trillion error in its initial accounting.

Do Democrats Have a Plan for the Next Hostage Crisis?

Jim Newell · 08/04/11 02:24PM

Congressional Republicans have become quite talented at taking legislative "hostages" at crucial junctures, making extreme demands, unifying behind them, and ultimately rolling Democrats into embracing horrible pieces of legislation. Maybe it's time for Democrats to come up with a plan for this sort of thing. So are they? Sorta.

Jon Stewart Blasts 'Spoiled Children' in Congress for Underwhelming Debt Deal

Matt Cherette · 08/03/11 10:25PM

On tonight's Daily Show, Jon Stewart briefly celebrated the fact that, despite the fight it took to get there, Congress finally reached a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling. But then Stewart noted just how little the deal will actually reduce the deficit, at which point he gave the "spoiled children" in Congress a piece of his mind.

Mitch McConnell Brags About 'Ransoming' the President

Jim Newell · 08/03/11 01:29PM

Sen. Mitch McConnell, the evil procedural genius who somehow always manages to be the most powerful person in Washington from his lowly perch as Senate minority leader, doesn't take offense when people call him and his party "hostage-takers." He rather fancies the title! But he does want to clear up the details of how and why he loves taking legislative hostages.

Now Let's Return to Real Political Issues, Like the 'Ground Zero Mosque'

Jim Newell · 08/02/11 12:00PM

Since Congress is preparing to head into its August recess just as soon as this debt ceiling deal wraps up, how are we, the political news consumers, going to get our kicks for the next month? Hmm. Eh, what the hell, let's start talking about the "Ground Zero" "Mosque" again.

Jon Stewart: Obama Got Screwed in Debt Ceiling Deal

Matt Cherette · 08/01/11 10:48PM

On tonight's Daily Show, Jon Stewart opened with a segment about the last minute deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling and avert an economic crisis. But while some in Washington celebrated the compromise today, Stewart took aim at President Obama for the concessions he made to get the deal done.

Gabby Giffords Returns to Washington to Vote for Debt Ceiling Bill

Max Read · 08/01/11 06:09PM

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the House of Representatives on Monday, receiving a standing ovation and enthusiastically greeting her colleagues after casting her vote (her first since being shot in January) for the debt ceiling bill, which passed 269-161.

What Is This Delightful Sound John Boehner Makes?

Jim Newell · 08/01/11 01:13PM

Some TV camera people caught Speaker John Boehner fleeing to his escape elevator in Capitol Hill last night, after everyone finally reached a debt ceiling deal that no one understands but should pass Congress today anyway. Think he wasn't tired? This guy, Boehner, not tired? Get out of here. Just listen to this noise he makes. A pure sigh of relief, or the desperate wail of an aging farter? You decide, America. For now it is merely John Boehner's "sound."