CBC Chairman Condemns the Debt Ceiling Bill

CBC Chairman Condemns the Debt Ceiling Bill

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver says there's very little good in the debt ceiling bill and calls for a "demon drink" to wash it down. He also laments the lack of civility among lawmakers.

Published August 3, 2011

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri) famously described the debt ceiling bill as a “sugar-coated Satan sandwich” last Sunday, a phrase that has been employed multiple times by both him and his Democratic colleagues throughout the week. Now he’s calling for a “demon drink” to wash it down.


“You’ve got a little bit of sourdough on one side of the sandwich for poor people and then you have some onions for people who are on unemployment benefits and realize that’s not going to be in the deal,” he said Wednesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “It’s got a lot of stuff in it, but very few things that are good. You serve it, of course, with a demon drink.”


Cleaver also lamented what he calls a woeful lack of civility on Capitol Hill, particularly as lawmakers battled over raising the debt ceiling, adding that politicians “who are nasty” are rewarded with big campaign contributions.


“The one ingredient that’s missing from the discussions that are taking place post-Satan sandwich passage is the fact that we don’t have a level of civility—not bipartisanship—civility in Congress to do anything,” he said.


Come September, when the “super committee” charged with making spending cuts begins its work, the contentiousness will only heat up again, the Missouri lawmaker warned.


“Remember, this is not over,” he said. “We have a continuing resolution for September. I think that will be chaotic. The darkest day for this nation is when you start piling up members of Congress who are here [and] not willing to compromise.”

(Photo: UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg/LANDOV)

Written by Joyce Jones


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