About This File
There are a lot of different scenarios this week. I would run either Iran or immigration reform. Here is my breakdown of the literature on the different scenarios.
Iran: I would run Iran. The uniqueness is now going in the direction of the Menendez/Kirk legislation not passing, as two key Democrats have moved against the legislation in the last couple of days (Patty Murray and Elizabeth Warren). The impacts are spectacular, as even passage of the Menendez/Kirk bill would tank the Geneva accords, leading to a risk of Israeli strikes and Iranian proliferation. You donâ€™t have a debate that is tied up in the economy, and you get large external impacts. You might have a little trouble with Uniqueness overwhelms the link, as it seems there is little chance of getting to the 67 votes to override the presidential veto (the measure has 59 votes now).
Immigration reform: it is viable, and would be my second choice. There are a lot of cards saying it will pass now, as the Republicans feel they must pass it quickly so they can begin campaigning for the midterms. I have two issues with immigration reform. First, the evidence that says Obama isnâ€™t pushing it and giving the Republicans space to make a deal is very goodâ€”he isnâ€™t investing political capital right now. Second, the impact is always a bit sketchy, as it is a long term economy style scenario that the AFF can probably access.
Unemployment benefits: I think this is a weak scenario. It probably wonâ€™t pass, as it got wrapped up in the overall employment bill and failed two procedural votes. The impact isnâ€™t very goodâ€”the benefits are a drop in the bucket and are merely a redistribution of existing funds. Finally, itâ€™s an economy scenario, which has empirically denied impacts and the AFF can probably access.
Debt ceiling: While possible, the fight isnâ€™t till mid-February, and the evidence that the Republicans will cave and not make big demands this time is very good. While the NEG will try to spin this as uniqueness, I think the uniqueness overwhelms the link. Plus, the markets arenâ€™t scared of a default this time so the â€œcause a fight which freaks out the marketsâ€ story isnâ€™t very true.
Midterms: Too early and Obamacare is key to the election. Not much more to say.
TPP: There are some good specific thumpers, and it doesnâ€™t look like itâ€™s coming up for a vote.
All proceeds from this weekâ€™s Thursday File go to support the Howard College of Arts & Sciences minority scholarship.
Good luck, and feel free to email me any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Ryan W. Galloway
Director of Debate