Huge chutzpah points to House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel, who sends along a statement of support in response to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s byzantine plan to avoid a debt default.
“The Speaker shares the Leader’s frustration,” Steel says. “Republicans are unified in our commitment to ensuring that the debt limit is not used as leverage to saddle small businesses with increased taxes that destroy jobs.”
So it was the Democrats using the debt limit as leverage this whole time? I have a whole bunch of corrections to write. In any case, even if Boehner gets fully behind the idea — and this statement does not suggest that he’s done that — Democrats would have to buy in to it as well, and they could just as easily decide to keep turning the screws on Republicans. That would force a showdown over a major 10 year debt and deficit plan, including significant new taxes, and represent a big public call of the GOP’s bluff on fiscal responsibility. But time’s running out, and this (or something like it) is potentially a way out for everyone.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.