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President Barack Obama and House Republican Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) gesture while Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) look on during a meeting of bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate.
"And then I told the president, 'Okay, we'll give you everything you want.' And he accepted our demand."
So House Republicans suspend the debt limit through May 19, giving President Obama authority to effectively raise the debt ceiling on his own, they do it with basically no meaningful strings attached, and they do it after having repeatedly pledged to never, ever raise the debt limit without cutting at least one dollar in spending for each dollar of debt limit increase. But despite having utterly capitulated, House Speaker John Boehner declared victory (although he apparently did so while trying to dodge the press):
With the passage of this bill today, it’s pretty clear that we’re sending a message to the Democrat-controlled Senate that it’s time to do your job. … The principal [note: in a statement this dumb, you'd think they'd at least spell "principle" correctly] I think is pretty simple: no budget, no pay. Listen, American families have to do a budget.  They understand you can’t continue to spend money that you don’t have.  We’re committed to doing a budget on the House side – a budget that will balance over the next 10 years.  It’s time for the Senate and the president to show the American people how they’re willing to balance the budget over the next 10 years.
Hold on, what? House Republicans just passed legislation raising the debt limit in essentially unlimited fashion ... and their post-vote messaging doesn't even mention the fact that they just raised the debt limit? Instead, they're talking about how they sent a message to the Senate about passing a budget resolution that is already mandated by the 1974 Budget Impoundment and Control Act.

It's not that I was expecting them to come out and hail the demise of the Boehner rule, but do they really think this nonsense is convincing spin? Apparently so:

Interesting. For years, the economy struggled & the Senate never acted. It took one week with Senate pay on the line, for them to step up.
@GOPLeader via web

Hahaha, talk about living in a fantasy land. The idea that any single senator, let alone a majority of them, give a damn about the possibility of their paychecks getting delayed by a few months is hilarious. I mean, in 2010 the average net worth in the Senate was more than $13 million dollars, and yet House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is seriously trying to sell this idiotic talking point. What a joke.

You'd think House Republicans would be trying to repair the brand damage that their hostage taking bluff caused, but instead they pushing stupid rightwing Twitter derp. The explanation is obvious: they are scared to death of their own political base. They know their base is wrong, and they know if they did what their base wanted they would have no chance of winning a general election. If that wasn't the case, they wouldn't have caved on the debt limit. But they are nonetheless trembling in fear.

As a result, instead of taking part in a declaration of victory for common sense, they continue to spew nonsense. And it won't end anytime soon: to win over conservative House members, GOP leadership promised to deliver a balanced budget. This budget is going to make the Ryan budget look like a Christmas tree. As Greg Sargent reports, it will literally shred government to ribbons. There's no other way to balance the budget. Of course, the budget will be dead on arrival because Democrats will never support it. That's probably the one bit of good news here for Republicans: the one thing they don't have to fear is their ideas getting implemented into law.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:37 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.


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