GOP Wants Conservatives to Trade a Shutdown for an Even Bigger Crisis

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. Flickr user gageskidmore

Republican leaders are trying to convince conservatives in Congress that instead of threatening to shut down the government unless President Obama agrees to defund Obamacare, they should refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless he agrees to delay the law. This is better, because to save his signature achievement, Obama would not be risking the annoyance of some closed national parks, but the headache of a global financial crisis.

The debt ceiling is a "good leverage point" to get some concessions on Obamacare, an aide to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told Reuters, confirming earlier reporting from The National Review. The GOP would be doing one better than Rahm Emanuel, who famously said shortly after Obama's election in 2008, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." In order for Republicans to exploit a crisis, they'll have to make one. That is what failing to raise the debt limit would be.

Earlier this month, The Washington Examiner's Conn Carroll reported that 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." Trading the threat of shutdown for the threat of not raising the debt limit is crazy, The Washington Post's Ezra Klein writes, because, "The former is an inconvenience. The latter is a global financial crisis."

Read more on The Atlantic Wire

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