Sen. McConnell Concedes Urgency Of Raising Debt Limit — And Feasibility Of Doing It Without Spending Cuts

July 12, 2011 4:20 pm ET — Jamison Foser

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) proposal to authorize the president to raise the debt limit on his own — without congressional approval — may be, as many are concluding, an abdication of responsibility, a political trap, or both. But it's definitely something else: a complete concession on the central issues at stake.

In proposing to give the president the authority to unilaterally raise the debt limit, McConnell has stipulated that the limit must be raised, and that it is feasible to do so without spending cuts. He has caved on the entire debate

Sure, McConnell is trying to preserve the ability to attack Obama and Democrats for raising the debt ceiling, but those attacks will be phony — he and the GOP will have authorized what they're criticizing. (Just ask congressional Democrats about the effectiveness of the argument that a vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq wasn't a vote for the use of force.)

McConnell has now agreed to the urgency of raising the debt limit, and to the practicality of doing so without spending cuts that would hurt the economy. Regardless of what happens next, nobody should lose sight of that concession.