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GOP Prepares For Surrender On Debt Ceiling And Shutdown

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AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

"I don't envy the position Speaker Boehner has been in but to allow it to come up for a vote and to get it resolved on behalf of the nation," Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said Wednesday on CNN. Even if it lacks GOP support? "I know he's been in a difficult position but we're at the time when we have to get it done," she said, "so I believe that he needs to bring it up for a vote."

The move would be a total surrender for Republicans, who had demanded a defunding of Obamacare (or at least a dismantling of it) to fund the government and a grab-bag of conservative goodies to lift the borrowing limit ahead of a Thursday deadline. The shutdown that took place on Oct. 1, egged on by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his arch-conservative allies, has badly damaged the GOP's standing among voters, multiple polls show.

"It's very, very serious," said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), as quoted by the New York Times. "Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable."

Remarkably, the leader of one of the conservative advocacy groups who goaded the GOP into the dead-end shutdown fight over Obamacare -- against party leaders' better instincts -- acknowledged that the law won't be repealed while Democrats are in power.

"Well, everybody understands that we'll not be able to repeal this law until 2017," Michael Needham, the CEO of Heritage Action, said Wednesday on Fox News. "We have to win the Senate and win the White House. Right now it is clear that this bill is not ready for prime time. It is clear the bill is unfair."

About The Author

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Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.