Washington Times Editorial:
“..............The Senates initial plan was to play the usual Washington game of bait and switch, funding the government and allowing unlimited borrowing in return for a promise of a committee meeting to talk about entitlement and spending reform, with coffee and tea and maybe the Democrats will bring Danish. Its politics designed to appeal to those who cant remember 2011, when we went through the same charade. President Obama won a $400 billion increase in the credit limit in return for the creation of a supercommittee to come up with $1.5 billion in spending reductions over 10 years. The supercommittee failed, as President Obama knew it would, and sequestration was the consolation prize.
The House Republicans wanted to beat the Senate to the punch with their own proposal to fund the government until Dec. 15 and raise the debt limit through Feb. 5 in return for a single concession. Congress and the White House staff would put aside their sweetheart insurance deal and sign up for the Obamacare they prescribed for everyone else. Chief Justice John Roberts, whose vote saved Obamacare in the Supreme Court, would have kept his sweetheart insurance. This would grieve the chief justice because he would feel cheated that he couldnt share the misery. This was weak stuff indeed, considering the Republican starting position was defunding Obamacare entirely. The Tea Party balked.
Some pollsters portray Republicans as the losers, but maybe not. The midterm elections are a year away, and voters have shown theyre angry with politicians of every stripe. Circumstances constantly change. A new Rasmussen poll finds that 46 percent of those surveyed would give Democrats full control of Congress and 45 percent would give it to Republicans. This is the same even split weve seen in the past several elections.
Mr. Obama says hell veto any legislation that doesnt give him everything he wants and nothing he doesnt. He understands the value of a clear position. Though Americans are angry that Mr. Obama dispatched National Park Service rangers to prevent tourists and veterans from strolling through outdoor monument grounds, he knows the dent in his approval rating, currently hovering at 40 percent or less, can change, too. Hes standing his ground because he understands how the brinksmanship game is played..........”
Washington Times: “....................Fitch Ratings put U.S. Treasury bonds on a negative ratings watch Tuesday, saying that even if the federal government continued to make debt payments, cuts to other spending would damage the perception of U.S. sovereign creditworthiness.
The other two ratings agencies, Moodys Investors Service and Standard & Poors, have not signaled similar warnings yet.
House Republicans were left reeling by the conservative revolt within their ranks.
In characterizing the situation, one Republican, Rep. Devin Nunes, posted a Twitter message Tuesday night that linked to a video of the climactic scene in Star Wars when the Death Star explodes.
Emerging from an evening closed-door meeting with Mr. Boehner, Rep. Pete Sessions told reporters they were no longer going to put the House bill on the floor Tuesday.
We are going to be prepared tomorrow to make some decisions, Mr. Sessions said.
Earlier Tuesday, the GOP thought it had a solution. In a meeting of the entire House GOP conference, Mr. Boehner presented a plan to reopen the government through Dec. 15, to raise the debt ceiling through early February, to repeal the medical device tax in Obamacare, to require Mr. Obama and his top aides to take part in the health exchanges, and to stiffen income verification for those getting government subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
But by the end of the two-hour meeting it was clear there was dissent, and Mr. Boehner told reporters they were still working on the plan.
By Tuesday afternoon, they had narrowed the bill down to just the requirement that Mr. Obama and top political appointees take part in the health exchanges, without the benefit of government subsidies to pay their premiums.
If Obamacare is good for members of Congress, then its good for the president, said Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican.
A vocal group of conservatives rebelled again, though, forcing the GOP to scrap that new bill.............................”