On Tuesday, GOP Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) cautioned against “spiking the football” on a potential Senate deal to end the partial government shutdown and lift the nation’s debt ceiling. It was an odd choice of words, since “spiking a football” usually comes about when your team has scored points. The emerging deal negotiated by Corker and GOP Leaders is a near-total defeat for the GOP.
Corker has emerged as a very vocal critic of the attempt by conservatives to use the partial shutdown and debt ceiling debate to win changes or reforms to ObamaCare. “To be candid, it is an embarrassment that we have spent all this time on a rabbit trail leading us to where we are,” Corker said on CNN. “Look, I may not be the best person to be interviewed this morning. We have a lot of work to do over the next three or four hours. There is a lot of tough sledding left.”
The “tough sledding” Corker refers to is convincing his GOP and conservative colleagues that the emerging deal is anything but a complete rout of Republicans. The agreement reopens government at higher spending levels than required under the Budget Control Act. It raises the debt ceiling until early February, without commensurate spending cuts or reforms. In exchange, Republicans are set to win approval of language that would require the Obama Administration to certify income eligibility for those applying for ObamaCare subsidies. That language, however, is already law. The Obama Administration has simply chosen to ignore it.
Democrat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) appeared with Corker and stressed that “adults” were now in charge of the negotiations. I’m sorry, but adults do not keep adding to the national debt with no consideration of how it will be repaid. They do not add another massive entitlement when the government already faces tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities for future health and pension costs.
So, Sen. Corker, no need to worry. No one is going to “spike a football” on announcement of a Senate deal. There will be nothing to celebrate.