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GOP Floating the Idea of Using Debt Ceiling to Defund Obamacare

Rep. Eric Cantor actually thinks the debt limit is a “good leverage point” here.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is out pushing for a government shutdown to force President Obama to repeal Obamacare, but House Republicans may take this crazy idea a dramatic step farther. They are apparently floating the idea of using the debt ceiling vote as leverage instead. From Reuters:

U.S. Republican lawmakers, who staunchly oppose President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, are considering using a fall showdown over the country’s borrowing limit as leverage to try to delay the law’s implementation.

The idea is gaining traction among Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, aides said on Wednesday. An aide to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the debt limit is a “good leverage point” to try to force some action on the healthcare law known as “Obamacare.”

“There are plenty of discussions ongoing but no decisions at this point,” said another leadership aide.

This would be a dramatically more dangerous game. While a temporary government shutdown would cause serious problems, people know how to manage it. A temporary default is unknown territory with possibly serious implications.

Of course there is no reason to think this idea is any more likely to work than Cruz’s. Once President Obama made it clear he would not negotiate over the debt ceiling last time, the GOP folded very quickly. Obama is not going to face election again, they will.

Expect an autumn full of some incredible posturing though.

Photo by House GOP Conference under Creative Commons license

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at