Hello, and welcome to the Political Jungle for January 4, 2013. Today, we will be looking at the debt ceiling and the electoral college. Let’s begin.
We begin with the Electoral College, as the Senate and the House met together to confirm the results. As expected, President Obama won re-election with 332 electoral votes. While, Mitt Romney got 206 electoral votes. The confirmation of the Electoral College paves the way for President Obama and Vice President Biden to be inaugurated on January 20 and 21. The joint session had the pomp of a root canal, as Senators Chuck Schumer and Lamar Alexander and Representatives Candice Miller and Robert Brady announced the awarding of electoral votes. The chamber was mostly empty, however, despite it being a joint session. Former Speaker and current Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were seen sitting next to each other.
Speaking of the congressional Democratic leadership, the two are apparently leaving all options open for the debt ceiling. This includes the 14 Amendment, where they would say that the amendment voids a debt ceiling. The 14 amendment says that the validity of the American debt should not be questioned. One other option that has been gaining traction is the Mint producing a high value coin to pay the debt. The plan is completely legal, but would most likely set Republicans in a fury. Some economists fear that a coin like that would make inflation rise wildly. Most proponents propose a one trillion dollar coin.
We continue now with Congress. The 113 Congress was sworn in this Thursday, and has a historically low bar. The question for this Congress is whether or not the two sides will work together unlike last time. A study was recently put out that showed how the last Congress was the most unproductive modern Congress. When Democrats called it the do-nothing Congress, they were right. So, here’s the thing. Here at Political Jungle, we want things to change. People often ask me questions. The top question is, what is the role of government. For that, I say that regardless of your ideology, the answer is to pass laws. The second question is what has made the political climate so much more divided. I usually say that is because both extreme sides have gotten muscles and are flexing them in elections, especially primaries. That second question is one we will be tackling more often this year. The third question is, what is Political Jungle. I wish to be able to say that it is a show that gets Congress to work together. I hope you join me.
I’ll see you Sunday, for another Political Jungle when we will look at the 2014 midterm elections.