Shutdown/debt limit: Boehner’s non-deal deal

House Speaker John Boehner explains what it's like negotiating in the Bizarro world.
(Win McNamee/ AFP Getty)

Let’s try to get this straight.

House GOP leaders are now offering to extend the federal debt limit by a princely six weeks, placing the new deadline at Nov. 22, the Friday before Thanksgiving.

They’re not offering to end the government shutdown, which is causing mounting pain in the American economy. (The latest indicator: a surge in unemployment claims, with far uglier numbers yet to come.)

They would also forbid the Treasury from using “extraordinary measures” to stave off default after Nov.r 22. In other words, cognizant of the catastrophic effects of a default, they would make it harder to avoid.


They’re refusing to reopen the government unless President Obama agrees to “reforms” on Medicare and Social Security. In other words, they want to sacrifice the health and sustenance of America’s seniors to end the shutdown. Rolling back Obamacare, which was the putative rationale for the shutdown and the debt-limit standoff, no longer appears to be on the table.

Support for the GOP position, and the party in general, is collapsing to a record low, and it wasn’t too great to begin with. Even the Koch brothers are disavowing the government shutdown. We stand with Matt Yglesias: This is a deal for nothing, and one that the president and the Senate can’t accept even in part.