House leadership firmly believes that attaching anything "new" to a continuing resolution is politically untenable, while passing a higher debt limit, without attaching anything new, is also politically impossible. Hence the House leadership's desire to fight ObamaCare through the debt limit, but not the CR.In other words, they'll talk about restoring pre-sequestration spending levels—and allow a debt ceiling increase—if Democrats will kill Obamacare. There are several problems with this calculation. First, defaulting on the debt might not create the same level of direct political ire against Republicans as shutting down government, but it could create long-term economic crises that scares the pants off analysts. Blowing up the entire economy turns out to be kind of a big deal.
The plan is to pass a 60-day CR extension that keeps discretionary spending at the existing sequestration levels. Then House leadership wants to combine Democratic desires to roll-back sequestration with conservative desires to delay/defund ObamaCare into the debt limit fight.
Second, President Obama has stated repeatedly and forcefully that there will be no more negotiations on the debt ceiling. Period. Of course, Republicans have plenty of precedent to doubt that assertion from Obama, which is undoubtedly why they're sweetening the deal with the possibility of rolling back the sequester cuts. Even so, that's ignoring the third problem with their plan: The exchanges will have already kicked in on Oct. 1, before the debt ceiling needs to be raised. They'll be trying to undo an already done deal. Even if that could be done, Republicans would then be responsible for ending the subsidy all those people who've signed up on the exchange. Not even no help from the feds to pay their insurance, no insurance.
This is the new master plan, apparently, to string everyone along with the fiction of killing Obamacare for just a little bit longer. At some point, Republican "leadership" is going to have to come clean with the rank-and-file and with their base. They can't kill Obamacare. They're going to have to come up with some other reason for being. It's not going to be pretty.