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A recurring pattern with the Republican Congress has been that real negotiations with them are rushed during a few hours -- after months in which communications are dominated by persistent (although widely disbelieved) bluffing.  Repeating this pattern in the lead-up to the upcoming debt ceiling deadline will be even more damaging than it has been in the lead-up to prior deadlines.

Pelosi could greatly mitigate, and perhaps completely destroy, this dynamic by announcing relatively early that she has secret support from enough Republican congressmen to force (and to pass) a clean vote to raise the debt ceiling, if a sequestration deal has not been passed, say, two working days before the presently scheduled deadline.  

At least one of the following would be true (and Boehner would be greatly pressured by not knowing which one(s)):

1.    Pelosi’s announcement could be true.  17+ Republican congressmen certainly know that shooting the debt ceiling hostage is insane, and that voting sanely on the debt ceiling can earn them Wall Street jobs and personal wealth outweighing their exposure to an insane primary election challenger.

2.    Pelosi’s announcement could be a bluff. If perceived to be a bluff, Pelosi’s announcement would merely become part of the large number of perceived bluffs being made on the debt ceiling by Boehner, McConnell, Obama and others.

3.    Pelosi’s announcement could easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Many Republican Congressmen, especially among the 85 who already lost their purity by supporting the recent Biden-McConnell Fiscal Cliff deal, would be forced to consider the likelihood that only the first 20 or so defectors can obtain the most reliable Wall Street promises of the most lucrative post-Congress careers.  

I refer to “Wall Street” because financial institutions have a particular interest in preserving the “zero risk” status of US treasury bills, but, more broadly:

the constellation of economic interest groups that converge on Washington understands the debt ceiling better than they did in 2011, are becoming more and more tired of congress’s tendency to negotiate by threatening to trigger economic catastrophes, and is getting better at knowing who to blame. It’s not a meaningless sign that John Engler, the former Republican Governor of Michigan who now leads the Business Roundtable, called for a five-year solution to the debt ceiling. (Extracted from:

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