We’re trying to sniff out exactly how this happened and what’s being done to sort it out. But the Obama administration’s announcement that it will certify this week its intent to raise the debt limit didn’t sit well on Capitol Hill.
The key issue is the 15-day deadline Congress has to vote on a resolution of disapproval of the President’s request to raise the debt ceiling. The timing of the administration’s planned certification implies that the 15 days would be up before Congress returns in January from its holiday recess. Whether this was an accident or not, we’re told that the calendar issue created a behind-the-scenes mess — with Republicans threatening to return early from recess — and that the administration is trying to figure out a way to keep it from spilling out into the public.
I’ve reached out to the administration for further guidance on both questions. It’s still unclear whether this was a hardball political move, a dumb mistake, or just a misunderstanding — or what, if anything, can be done to avoid a public clash with the GOP over the timing.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.