‘The only person in town who can cause default is President Barack Obama,’ Steve Scalise says. | AP Photo
A reality is beginning to dawn on — and eat away at — many House Republicans: They aren’t at all sure of their party’s strategy to re-open government and lift the debt ceiling.
After forcing leadership to pick a fight it didn’t want to pick, sitting through hours of meetings with lots of internal hand-wringing and failing to force Democrats to negotiate, the path to avoid a prolonged government shutdown and the first debt default in American history is completely uncertain.“If anybody tells you it’s clear to anybody let me know,” said Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, the chairman of the Rules Committee and a member of Republican leadership. “I’ll call them collect.”
Now, the party is flagging in polls one week into the first government shutdown in nearly two decades. And they’re just eight days ahead of the deadline set by the Treasury to lift the debt ceiling. A slew of House Republicans are now saying they believe they won’t bear responsibility for a default. Continue reading “GOP unity frays, frustration builds”