Later that summer, House Republicans insisted any increase in the debt ceiling would be accompanied by equal (kind of, but not exactly) cuts in spending. There was no formal end game when Republican leaders made that declaration; instead, it served as a rallying cry that shaped the entire debate. In the aftermath of the debt ceiling showdown, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) explained the dynamics:
“Would Democrats have ever agreed if they thought the new freshman class was going to roll over? No. The freshmen made our hand so much stronger. You had a fear of how far they would go. I’m sure the president looks back, too, and was fearful. But in negotiations, isn’t that the best thing?”
If the unnamed leadership aide was actually speaking for Republican leaders – and there is no way to verify because we don’t know the name of the aide or the aide’s boss – it does not appear there is any real desire to negotiate on the forthcoming year-end spending bill.
They’ll fight Obamacare later. Promise. Maybe.
Once Americans start enrolling in the Obamacare exchanges on October 1 with the expectation of receiving Obamacare subsidies in 2014, it could be too late. If we want to protect the American people from Obamacare, we have to act now. The outcome will depend on how well we make the case between now and September 30. But one thing is certain: There are no excuses for not trying.