Conservatives Admit Tirade Over The Debt Limit Amounts To ‘Theater’

Two House conservatives on Tuesday admitted that the Republican Party’s recent brinkmanship over the debt limit — increased under former President George W. Bush seven times — amounted to nothing more than “theater.”

Republicans have been trying to coalesce around a ransom in exchange for raising the debt limit once more — a scorched-earth strategy the party has employed since 2011. One ideological concession talked up by more conservative House GOP members this time around is legislation that would eliminate a stability mechanism in Obamacare derided by Republicans as a “bailout” for insurance companies.

But that plan is no longer viable, according to Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), who once opposed a “clean” debt ceiling increase.

“We should bring up a clean debt ceiling, let the Democrats pass it, and just move on,” Labrador told the Washington Post‘s Robert Costa. “Our constituents are fed up with the political theater. If we’re not going to fight for something specific, we might as well let the Democrats own it.”

“It’s theater,” Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), a libertarian rising star, added. “It’s going to end up being clean anyway. I don’t see anything they can put on the table that I would support as some sort of tradeoff.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters on Tuesday that while his conference has “a lot of opinions about how to deal with the debt limit, no decisions have been made.”

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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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