Do you want to know what Republicans get out of the proposed Senate debt ceiling deal? Nothing, but a crushing surrender.
Republicans will get no changes to Obamacare. They will get no further spending cuts. The government will be funded until mid-late December, and here’s the kicker according to Greg Sargent, “According to the Democratic aide, Dems are likely to demand a debt limit extension into early summer — nine months, rather than six – with the idea being that the closer to the 2014 elections we get, the harder it will be for Republicans to stage another debt ceiling hostage crisis. Democrats don’t want such a crisis. They would prefer that Republicans simply agree to extend the debt limit cleanly. But by pushing this so deep into the 2014 election season, they are giving themselves a kind of insurance policy that guarantees that if Republicans do stage another debt limit crisis, Republicans will pay a serious political price for it.”
If Republicans want the medical device tax repealed Democrats are going to demand that tax loopholes be closed for the wealthy and corporations, and Senate Democrats are even going to finally get the budget conference that they have asked the House Republicans for 18 times.
What do Republicans get out of this? Nothing, but record low poll numbers.
This deal, if it survives the House, would be a major victory for Democrats. It meets every single one of President Obama’s criteria. Obamacare (the ACA) is not changed. No budget negotiations occur before the government is reopened and the debt ceiling is raised, and there will be no short term threat of default by House Republicans on the debt ceiling.
Whether or not this deal, if this does end up being the deal, can pass the House is a whole different story. Boehner and the House Republicans are still harboring delusion that they will be passing a short term six week deal.
The reason why House Republicans want a short term deal is two fold. They view the CR and the debt ceiling as their last chance to kill the ACA before it is implemented fully on January 1, 2014. Secondly, vulnerable House Republicans want to avoid another crisis during the 2014 election.
By placing the expiration of the debt ceiling extension right in the middle of the 2014 election, Democrats are setting up a lose/lose scenario for House Republicans. Boehner and company will have to fight among themselves as the election campaign is going on. Another debt ceiling fiasco could tear open all of the party wounds, or Republicans could to again threaten default and lose the House.
A group of House Republicans and their Senate leader Ted Cruz thought they could ransom their way into killing the ACA. Instead, the Republicans are being offered a series of crushing terms of surrender that will be impossible for conservative activists and the tea party House GOPers to swallow.
It’s clear that by cutting this deal with Majority Leader Reid, Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans are washing their hands of the Cruz/Boehner folly. If the country defaults, it will be because John Boehner refused to stand up to his own House Republicans and do what is right.
Democrats and Senate Republicans are sending the signal that if the country defaults, the blame should go on Boehner and his tea crazed House Republicans. Harry Reid is laying out the terms of surrender. It’s unclear whether House Republicans realize that they’ve lost the war.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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