GOP Preparing New Farcical Debt Ceiling Standoff

A blog about business and economics.
Jan. 24 2014 11:27 AM

GOP Preparing New Farcical Debt Ceiling Standoff

462981423-speaker-of-the-house-john-boehner-pauses-during-a-news
Again and again and again and again. Do it again. Again and again.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marx wrote that when history repeats, the first time is tragedy and the second time is farce. House Republicans, meanwhile, are trying to see what happens when you go for a third or fourth shot at it:

House GOP leaders have made no final decisions on their debt-ceiling plans, which will be a top focus during a strategy session at a Maryland resort next week. But aides and lawmakers say party leaders believe a "clean" debt-ceiling bill, devoid of policy demands, can't pass the Republican controlled House. [...]
Prominent among the ideas being discussed are changes to an element of the Affordable Care Act known as "risk corridors," which some Republicans have derided as a bailout for insurers because the provision calls for the government to help insurers offset risks related to the law's requirement that they sell policies to all comers. Republicans might also demand repeal of the law's medical-device tax or its surcharge on insurance plans. A House leadership aide said the GOP hopes to pull off a "rifle shot or two on Obamacare" that would attract a small number of Democrats.

House Republicans may also pull in other issues, such as requiring approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Advertisement

We have already seen this movie! Multiple times! The way it goes is that the clean debt limit "can't pass the House" because of party cartel situations. Then Democrats argue, rightly, that it would be dangerous to allow the threat of economic chaos to be used as a lever of policy and they won't back down. Then John Boehner admits he was bluffing and allows the clean debt limit to pass the House, with most Republicans voting no but a bipartisan majority in favor. We've seen it. Several times. The only thing possibly accomplished by doing this again is dealing some minor damage to the economy with unnecessary waiting and uncertainty.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.