The debt ceiling and the continuing resolution votes coming up should be passed with at least 11 days to spare. In the past, these votes have been done at the last minute, but Congress should leave nothing to chance here.
Under the Constitution, the president could sit on a bill for at least 11 days (ten, but they excepted Sundays) before issuing a veto (any longer and it automatically becomes law). While the president would probably sign either bill at the last minute, if McConnell and Ryan give him the chance, he might just screw it up.
The debt ceiling is the bigger deal here, though both matter. But in both cases, what should have been handled well before hand has been put off to the last minute. In both cases, there are efforts to try to leverage political gains out of what should be the most basic, no-nonsense acts of government.
But, worse, we have a president who appears unstable enough to stick a pinky on the corner of his mouth and fire guns at the feet of the legislature, telling them to dance and build his wall and whatever other villain cliches might be on hand at the time.
If the legislature puts the debt bill on the president’s desk in time, and he fails to sign it, causing any default, he would be impeached and likely removed for it. But the damage would be done. The fiscal reputation of the country would be harmed in a way that is not easily repaired.
It’s an easy call to make. Pass the bill early. If President Trump doesn’t sign it, override his veto. It’s the least the government can do for its people.
The continuing resolution to fund the government and keep it open is a similar story, though thankfully the only people directly harmed by a shutdown would be millions of workers and not the very fabric of the international financial order. So, no big deal, right? Just get the bill done. No gimmicks. Clean bill, with a plan to override any veto.
There is about a month left to get both done. If you want to do tax reform, then get these out of the way quickly.