The federal government's
They're right on principle: It would set a disastrous precedent if lawmakers in one chamber could bend the rest of
Republicans picked the fight over Obamacare mainly because a cohort of
As bad as the shutdown is for the economy — disrupting government contractors, interrupting small-business loans, threatening the paychecks of more than 2 million federal workers, rattling the stock market — a failure to raise the debt limit in time would be far worse. Recognizing the stakes involved, House Speaker
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Obama have already made one real concession: accepting the House's lower cap on total spending in the stopgap bill. They insist they won't negotiate over the healthcare law or the debt ceiling, and rightly so. What they're really saying, though, is that the bargaining over entitlements, taxes and other budget issues needs to be decoupled from the shutdown and the debt limit. The trick is to find a way to do that without inviting a new round of brinkmanship a few months down the road.