REFLECTIONS

Posted on September 16, 2013

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HOUSE REPUBLICANS TIE OBAMACARE TO DEBT CEILING

In an ominous sign, Republican leaders in the U.S. House last week had to delay a vote to keep the government running through mid-December because they didn’t have enough support. Once again, unfortunately, budget hard-liners in the GOP caucus are threatening to shut down the government in order to extract spending concessions.

In this case, however, the desired concession is to defund the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, even though beyond the House the defunding is unlikely. It has essentially no chance of occurring without a major change in the political landscape in Washington.

So long as President Obama resides in the White House and the Senate is controlled by Democrats, Obamacare is not going away.

To be clear, the debt limit is a separate issue from the funding of government or Obamacare. Unless the ceiling is raised, the government will be unable to pay bills and the nation’s credit rating would be jeopardized.

The last time a Republican House shut down government was during the Clinton administration in 1995. The next election Democrats took control of the House.

Holding the debt ceiling hostage to Obamacare or anything else is misguided in my view, and it will probably hurt Republicans more than Democrats.

The nation is obligated to pay its debts.

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