Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis Is Over!

By Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine - January 19, 2013

It’s over. House Republicans, following a literal and metaphorical retreat, have announced they plan to lift the debt ceiling without extracting policy concessions. Whatever mini-dramas may follow, the GOP leadership has both recognized the need to abandon their strategy of using the debt ceiling as a hostage and also to recognize this publicly.

The GOP announcement came wrapped in a face-saving demand that “if the Senate or House fails to pass a budget in that time, Members of Congress will not be paid by the American people for failing to do their job.” The point here is to let right-wingers believe, or at least claim, that they succeeded in extracting some concession in return for not playing Russian roulette with the world economy.

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