The Gephardt Rule Returns

It probably will not get much attention, and certainly not the most attention, but the House reinstated the Gephardt rule today. This rule says that if the fiscal decisions of the House would imply an increase in the debt ceiling then it automatically happens, rather than a necessary separate vote.

This is some small measure of a return to sensible policy for the time being and removes some of the “fiscal cliff” issues of the past decade. At least the House is saying it recognizes the implications of its decisions and is not going to subject itself to two votes on one spending decision. One to engage in the spending and a second to decide if they really will pay the bills they incurred. I doubt this helps the country deal with its fiscal imbalances but at least government will look a bit more adult in their approach.

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