Entire Dallas GOP Delegation Votes for Default

Some of us would like to think that there are reasonable, sane, and responsible Republican members of the House. And apparently there are: 87 Reps joined with Dems to end the GOP-created crisis that almost cratered the world economy. But Dallas Republicans were not among them.

Joe Barton, Jeb Hensarling, Sam Johnson, Pete Sessions, Kenny Marchant, and Michael Burgess (and Kay Granger of Fort Worth) all voted with nutcase Louis Gohmert to keep the government closed and to default on the debt the U. S. Government — under their majority in the House — had incurred. No doubt it was a tactical vote, that is, the Speaker’s office had gotten what members it needed and allowed the rest to vote against. So quivering in fright at the possibility of Tea Party challenge, each one of them voted with the most extreme elements of their party, the full faith and credit of the United States be damned.

Every one of these members (except Marchant, who wasn’t in office at the time) voted in 2003 for Medicare Part D, the biggest expansion of entitlements in American history, and none has offered a bill to repeal it and its one trillion dollar price tag. Why? Because it was proposed by a Republican president. And, conveniently, the Tea Party seems to have forgotten about it (maybe too many of them are beneficiaries of this particular form of government largess).

The next time you hear one of these local Republican congressmen mention “fiscal responsibility” in a campaign speech, allow yourself a little chuckle.

UPDATE: S&P says today that the Republican shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy and cut 0.6% off of yearly fourth quarter GDP growth. And to accomplish what? Good work, guys.


  • Eric

    Yeah Wick, kicking the can down the road – again – is always preferable to doing something, anything.
    Going along to get along is always better than calling attention to the fact that this country is being bankrupted by Washington.
    And getting McConnell a couple of billion in pork as part of his “deal” is always better than getting nothing at all.

  • AmyS

    WSJ front page today says big business is moving their $upport. Not to Democrats but away from tea-party members.

  • Jim Schermbeck

    Run, Wick, Run.

  • Dan Koller

    It warms my heart to see Wick refer to Gohmert as a “nutcase.”

  • Bubba

    Those Republicans chose “to default,” “the full faith and credit of the United States be damned”? No, they absolutely did not, as current revenues are more than enough to finance current debt obligations, and the government is required to honor its debts. You’re either ignorant or you’re deliberately slandering conservatives.

  • Edward

    And Cruz admits the whole thing was just a fundraising scheme, generating contacts and emails for his political action committee and Heritage.

    I have to say I’m surprised at Kay Granger. She should be embarrassed by her vote.

  • Anonymous

    It ONLY took $24 billion out? How does that compare to how much the government takes out of the economy when it’s “working”?

  • sdm

    COME ON Wick. You of all people should know the ONLY person in the U.S. that can default on the debt is the President. Before you write these ridiculous posts please make sure you have the slightest (even the very, very slightest) idea of how the mechanics work, otherwise all future posts, other than media posts, will be ignored.

    It’s beyond me how you could get this basic fact so wrong. Please, I beg you, do not listen to the mainstream media. It will serve you well in future posts…I promise.

  • Bizarro Big Tex

    Wick, good memory on the Medicare Part B action. Folks keep discussing the possible default as if it was a mechanical process. Insert tab A into slot B. The greatest danger was actually a loss of confidence in our financial system and a resulting contraction of credit. Consumer and business credit would have puckered more than grandma sucking on a kosher dill pickle. Scary.

  • estquodest

    Maybe the Tea Party “forgot” about what Bush did in 2003 because he’s not president anymore? I doubt they are sending contributions to his presidential library.

  • Avid Reader

    What a silly and intentionally misleading post. Wick obviously knows that the doomsday talk is all fluff and that the administration’s/Lew’s chicken-little act is all partisan posturing. The gov’t has the ability to prioritize (see Geithner) and more than enough incoming cash to cover the outgoing debt payments. An actual default at this point in time would only come about by a willful action of the administration.

  • AmyS

    Consider me a cynic. People don’t elect politicians, money does. The tea party has put corporate subsidies on the same chopping block as the ACA. Large business lobbies are not happy.

    I’m not saying any of this is right, but I’m saying the moderate Republicans are already building boats for the rising tide of donations.

  • Wick Allison

    “[The Obamacare defunders] hurt the conservative movement, they hurt people’s health care, they hurt the country’s economic situation and they hurt the Republican party … These are the people who said, ‘Plan: Step One, Invade Iraq. Step Two, It turns into Kansas,’ Could I ask if there’s anything in between Step One and Step Two? ‘Oh ye of little faith.’” – Grover Norquist.

    • AmyS

      Cynical me thinks Grover’s boat is moored to Peter King’s.

  • ERG

    Great post! Let’s elect some representatives who understand the responsibility of governing and solving problems. I suspect that Texas will pay the price for its representatives’ and senators’ votes. “Fiscal Responsibility” will begin in Washington with devastating cuts directed at Texas. Due to gerrymandered redistricting, we no longer have moderate representatives who can work together to represent our states’ interests. They are too busy pandering to the crazies.

  • GlennTheHunter

    Wick, you make a good point about Republican hypocrisy and Medicare Part D. But beating up on GOP hypocrisy, like all the recent “brinksmanship” over a possible default, etc., is really just an entertaining sideshow; here’s the bigger picture and the real question for you: In the early 1990s, if I remember right, you were a Texas leader of Ross Perot’s independent campaign for president. Perot ran on a “radical” platform of slashing federal spending (including Medicare and Social Security for people who don’t need it), reforming the tax code and actually balancing the budget. Perot was also alarmed by the then-$4 trillion federal debt (the good old days; the debt is four times that now). Basically, Perot’s view of out-of-control federal spending is today’s tea party view. So, what’s changed for you in the last 20 years, that you now consider people saying “enough is enough” to be extremists?

  • Dubious Brother

    My family, including children and grand children, all breathed a collective sigh of relief when we found out that the Democrats made it possible to increase the national debt even more over the next few months. Thank you Harry, Barry and all the rest for accomplishing this on the very day that the State of Delaware signed up their first Obamacare participant. Any word on the success rate of Obamacare in Texas?

    • rjd

      Don’t you defend the Iraq war?

  • Avid Reader

    I was about to ask a similar question for Wick minus the background; is Wick on board with the current spending levels and debt levels?

  • Mike

    The default nonsense was just a flat out lie meant to scare people – http://tinyurl.com/kfg3ch5

    And yeah, just as many R’s pushed that lie as D’s, they’re both worthless.

    • marisa

      Agree Mike. They are ALL self serving ass—–. Not working for the people at all.I fear the voters are too stupid to replace ALL of them.

  • rjd

    Pete King’s possibly the biggest hawk in the country, I think Grover would prefer a number of people to him.

  • Ben Disraeli

    Then: Quirky messenger, sincere message
    Today: Machiavellian messenger, insincere message

  • Mavdog

    an interesting dance you’re attempting to perform there Bubba…

    “current revenues are more than enough to finance current debt obligations”

    ok. however, current revenues are NOT enough to pay all the bills that the federal government owes. you try to single out the obligation of Treasury debt, while ignoring the rest.

    so you say pay the debt from the treasury bills? fine, what about all the other obligations that need to be paid? not enough money to pay all of them, and not paying those other obligations is a default, too.

    you’re either ignorant or you’re deliberately slandering the president.

  • Dubious Brother

    The purpose but not the execution. I would have preferrred Bush I finish off Saddam and his army during Desert Storm.

  • gimmethewooby

    Let’s say No to them in November 2014

  • Avid Reader

    Enough money would be available to pay debt obligations which allows for no default. I don’t see in Bubba’s post where it says the gov’t wouldn’t then have very tough decisions on what to fund. Prioritizing within budget constraints is obviously too difficult for politicians so maybe a situation where there is no option to put items on credit is needed. Remember when that sort of happened when the end-of-days sequester apocalypse went into effect? No? Neither does anyone else, which just goes to show they can be “ok” stewards of our finances if forced.

  • jmckee

    The US has non-interest financial obligations, if we don’t pay them we default, what do you not understand about that? Furthermore the U.S. Treasury does not just have like a button to pay debt-interest only and we don’t have one because the idea is stupid and staggeringly complicated.

  • Jonathan Carpenter

    Before I hear anymore of this love-in for all things Democrat; please remember when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker she did not see the need to pass a Budget for the Healthcare Bill or anything else for that matter. Now we have to do these continuing Resolutions, Deals et.al. to keep the Government going. Yes, the Tea Party is to blame for the majority of this. Let’s not forget the lack of Leadership on the Democrats side.

    • Frank Provasek

      Pelosi did not attempt a budget in 2010 because the bipartisan deficit reduction commission would not release its report until December 2010, and it was not possible to make a realistic budget without knowing the commission’s guidelines. Instead, the Democrats chose to follow the President’s PAYGO law signed in Feb 2010 which requires all new spending to be covered by offsets or new revenue. The Healthcare Bill was funded by the mandate penalty (Max $95/year in 2014) the 10% medical device tax, and eliminations of Medicare waste. PAYGO was in effect since 1990, but it was repealed under Bush to permit 2 unfunded wars, an unfunded Medicare Part D, Tax cuts for the wealthy, and 100s of billions in $600 stimulus checks mailed out to everyone. When Clinton left office , govt revenue was 104% of spending. When Bush left office, revenue was 34% of spending. I seriously believe when McCain suspended his campaign during the last few weeks before the 2008 election so he could work as a Senator…NOBODY DOES THAT — unless they decided they didn’t want to win when they realized that the Sept 2008 Crash would not be felt really hard for 6 months or so, and whoever was president when the shlt hits the fan would be blamed.

  • Avid Reader

    I apologize; I don’t understand the part where you don’t understand. The gov’t would have enough money to pay their debt obligations as required by law which allows for no default. Sure it’s stupid, complicated, fraught with consequences, etc.; but cutting spending not required by law to avoid jumping through the debt ceiling would be similar to a balanced budget amendment being passed. There would be some kind of fallout from the optics globally, but not much if the VIX/market in general are any indicators.

  • Neal K

    Calling Louie Gohmert a “nutcase” is an insult to nutcases. The mad tend to have some kind of internal, secret genius. Gohmert is just a bellowing slackjawed dummy.

  • Neal K

    No, failing to pay non-sovereign debt obligations would be awful and bring about incalculably bad consequences, but would not constitute a default. When talking about governments, the term “default” always means a failure to pay debt obligations. When we talk about Argentina or Mexico’s “default”, we mean their failure to pay their bonds, not their failure to pay pensions or wages to government employees. Lazy, ignorant political reporters and opportunistic politicians and bureaucrats have tried to conflate a debt default with failure to pay other things, but they are twisting the language. Words mean things, and they matter.

  • Neal K

    The real problem is cowardice. Granger, Cornyn and others are terrified of Ted Cruz and his gullible, swivel-eyed lunatic allies who, regrettably, are the most active faction of Republican voters during the primary process.

    Wick has praised John Carona for being a “real” Republican, whatever that means. Remember when he was on the cover of D Magazine sitting on an elephant if I recall correctly? I’m certain that Carona would have voted with the rest of the delegation were he in Congress today. He is rich, but not rich enough to fight off a locust swarm from Cruz and the ultra-right wing activi$t groups.

  • Frank Provasek

    Shameful. I am sending a copy of this article to Kay Granger.

  • Frank Provasek

    Ever have your 12% interest rate credit card jump to 24% or 29.99% after you are late on a couple of payments? There is a fine line between paying every bill on time and paying just MOST of them. But just a hint of unreliability in paying your bills causes your creditors to demand a lot more interest to cover the risk of late payments, partial payments, or paying only the countries that have nuclear missiles aimed at us. ..Buyers of US Treasury bills have demanded double the interest rate the past week or so..even with the crisis averted, the premium may not completely go away, since we may do this all over again in 4 months.The government pays about $250 billion a year in interest on the debt. A default could easily double or triple the interest the government pays…easily adding more than the $450 billion cost of the entire Medicare program! How could all of the Texas GOP House members vote to default? It’s absolute insanity!