The Wall Street Journal scooped the details of what John Boehner would sell to his conference at a 10 a.m. meeting: a six-week extension of the debt limit (right up to Thanksgiving!) with "no policy conditions."* The Dow Jones immediately spiked by 200 points, interpreted as a response to this "breakthrough."
But how much of a breakthrough is it? The politics of the CR and the debt limit have gotten tangled; no one's knocking investors if they haven't followed every bend and turn. The House GOP still wants more from the CR than the administration will agree to, but outside groups like Heritage Action have signed off on the idea of a "clean" debt limit increase for a few weeks. Doing so would, like the "mini-CRs," remove one of the ongoing outrages that hurts the GOP. The theory: This will give Republicans and Democrats the time and space to negotiate a long-term spending deal, something that they couldn't do in 2011, when there was far more political pressure on the president's party.
Hey, it might work. But the markets are currently thrilled by a deal that 1) has yet to be agreed to by the House of Representatives, 2) may merely kick the debt limit crisis back to Thanksgiving, and 3) at the absolute best presages a spending deal Wall Street can only guess the details of.
*Correction, Oct. 10, 2013: This post originally misstated the length of the proposed debt limit extension as six months.
TODAY IN SLATE
Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola
Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?
A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull
Subprime Loans Are Back
And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice
In Defense of HR
Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.