Commentary: Congress has no courage in debt ceiling debate

Congress and the White House have made partisan posturing into an art form. But the political theater by House Republicans on raising the nation's debt ceiling is not only ridiculous, but reckless.

The stakes are too high and the time is too short to be wasting time on the "cut, cap and balance" plan that the GOP pushed through Tuesday on 234-190 party-line vote.

We are less than two weeks away from the Aug. 2 deadline to increase the $14.3 trillion borrowing limit. Without a solution, the economic recovery could be wrecked, benefit checks could be delayed and the fallout on global commerce could be calamitous.

Our own Republican members of Congress are bit players in this pantomime. Tom McClintock of Elk Grove and Wally Herger of Chico were early supporters of the plan. Dan Lungren of Gold River eventually decided to vote for the measure, too.

He was concerned that an earlier version had too restrictive a spending cap, but is now convinced that it would shrink the size of government to traditional levels. We need a credible plan to reduce the deficit with budget cuts now, not 10 years from now, Lungren said by phone from Washington.

This "cut, cap and balance" measure isn't it.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.sacbee.com.