Back in January, as Republicans geared up for a fight on the debt ceiling, House Republican Leaders assured their constituents that a continuing resolution was the way to fight Obamacare.
Said one Republican adviser:
“The debt ceiling is a terrible place to have the fight when you have the sequester and the continuing resolution…. There is so much misinformation about the debt ceiling, the word ‘default’ keeps getting thrown around. Why go for a big fight? Better to take a small bite of the apple here knowing that you will get a few more whacks at it down the road.”
At the time, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) penned an op-ed in which he wrote, “It may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country.”
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich went on CBS to advise Republicans that their fight with Barack Obama should be during a continuing resolution fight, not a debt ceiling fight.
Keith Hennessey, whose opinion is highly regarded on Capitol Hill, wrote that the GOP should, “Take whatever big spending cuts you want and make them conditions of extending the Continuing Resolution. Threaten to shut down the government rather than to make the government risk not paying its bills on time.”
The Politico reported that John Boehner would never allow a default to happen and, consequently, would raise the debt ceiling. In fact, the Politico report last January suggested the GOP would make its stand on the continuing resolution.
That was all in January of 2013. The House Republicans decided to pass a clean debt ceiling and gamble on sequestration cuts. When March rolled around, the GOP killed a measure that would have defunded Obamacare in the March 2013 continuing resolution.
They chose to punt until later in the year.
Well, now it is later. And having first told the Republican base that it would have to wait until the continuing resolution and not the debt ceiling fight, now the GOP is telling everyone that it will make its stand on the debt ceiling fight. Never mind that Republicans have said repeatedly that they would never allow the U.S. to default. Never mind that in January, when conservatives tried to get House Republican leaders to fight over Obamacare through the debt ceiling, the GOP got every willing right-of-center columnist, talking head, and pundit to bash conservatives. They told us we could not afford to default on our obligations.
So what changed? Why, in January, did they tell us they would fight over Obamacare in the continuing resolution and now that it is here they are telling us that they will instead fight with the debt ceiling, which in January they said they could never use as leverage?
Nothing has changed. The GOP is doing a bait and switch on its own base. It has no intention of defunding Obamacare. John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and their Senate counterparts want to run out the clock on Republican voters, not Barack Obama.
If Republicans are unwilling to fight and chance a government shut down, does any serious person really think they are going to fight on the debt limit when, back in January, they would have had us believe it’d lead to default even though it wouldn’t?