House Republican Leadership adopted the Tea Party strategy to avoid the debt ceiling crisis Thursday
House Republican leadership adopted the Tea Party strategy to avoid the debt ceiling crisis Thursday. At a press conference. Speaker John Boehner proposed a short-term delay of the nation’s debt limit, along with the appointment of a bipartisan committee to work out a long-term debt deal. As MSNBC’s Luke Russert reported, the speaker’s plan would also remove the Treasury Department’s ability to use ‘extraordinary measures’ to delay a default. The speaker stopped short of offering a plan to end the federal government’s shutdown, which continues to leave hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed and thousands more without government services.
The plan contradicts with the House GOP’s yearlong promise to use this month’s threat of default on the nation’s credit to extract policy concessions from the president, and represents another victory for the Tea Party wing of the party. In a letter Wednesday, the Koch Brothers joined other groups in urging Congress to pass a clean debt limit increase. The goal, as prominent Tea Party blogger Erick Erickson writes, is to remove the debt ceiling threat so the GOP can keep its focus on using the government shutdown to force a delay and repeal of portions of the Affordable Care Act.
But a short-term increase would further delay an inevitable deal to lift the debt ceiling and fund the government. Worse, it could lengthen the shutdown that has already hurt millions of Americans by removing the largest impetus for an agreement
The White House had a lukewarm reaction to the proposal Thursday. Press Secretary Jay Carney said the President is “happy that cooler heads at least seem to be prevailing in the House, that there at least seems to be a recognition that default is not an option,” but called on Congress to raise the debt ceiling for a longer period of time.
MSNBC’s Luke Russert joined NOW with Alex Wagner Thursday after Speaker Boehner announced the deal.