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Republicans in Disarray as Democrats Move to Take Away All GOP Leverage on Debt Ceiling

Senate Democrats believe that they can use their leverage in the government shutdown to force House Republicans to solve the shutdown and the debt ceiling together.

According to The Hill, Democrats are demanding that the government shutdown and the debt ceiling be solved together:

Senate Democrats believe the longer the government remains shut down, the more leverage they will wield in the debt-limit debate later this month.

There is growing sentiment among Democrats that the short-term funding resolution and debt-limit increase should be combined. They claim the issues should be merged to take advantage of Republicans, who are pided and off balance trying to fend off blame for the shutdown.

Previously, Democrats were resistant to such an idea. That was at least in part because President Obama is refusing to negotiate on the debt limit. But a Democratic senator told The Hill this week that is no longer a concern, saying the White House can effectively deal with the GOP’s tactics.

Democrats are eager to deal with the debt limit now, when polls show most of the public blames Republicans for the shutdown. They contend it would be difficult for the GOP to make additional demands linked to the debt limit while they’re embroiled in a crisis over a six-weekend spending stopgap.

Even though it was the House Republicans who pushed for the shutdown, what is becoming obvious is that Democrats have a plan to deal with a shutdown and the debt limit already in place. As the shutdown drew near, Democrats had a unified message. Democrats across the spectrum have not wavered. On the other side, Republicans have been divided and at each other’s throats.

Republicans appear to have been completely unprepared for the political backlash against them. It is unfathomable that they didn’t know that they would be intensely blamed for any shutdown, but the House’s panicked attempts to pass partial funding bills reek of a group of people who have gotten in way over their heads.

House Republicans began this process under the belief that they could force a delay or repeal of the ACA by shutting down the government. They also thought that that they could use the debt ceiling to force the country to accept a laundry list of demands that were rejected by the voters during the 2012 election.

Nothing is going the Republicans’ way. In fact, everything is going against them. House Republicans were expected to cave on the government shutdown at some point, but they may end up giving up a whole lot more than they ever imagined. It is possible that House Republicans could be forced to pass a clean CR and raise the debt limit while getting nothing in return.

Democrats no longer want Republicans to cave. Senate Democrats want a House Republican capitulation.

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Jason Easley

Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements. Awards and  Professional Memberships Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association

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