Earlier this morning, Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate struck a deal to fund the government through January 15 and extend the debt ceiling to February 7. The Senate will essentially dictate the bill to the House, which will hopefully pass it and send it back to the Senate before we run out of borrowing authority tomorrow. Or Ted Cruz will scotch the whole thing. Or fractious House Republicans will refuse to pass anything, and the United States will resume its proud, constitutionally mandated position as a second-rate power. But for now, it looks like we have a deal.
According to a Politico report that has scared hell out of the nation and briefly thrown me into agreement with Ross Douthat, a substantial number of House Republicans are considering refusing to raise the debt ceiling. The plan is to use the threat of default and/or federal shutdown to force Obama to agree to spending cuts—cuts he has repeatedly refused to make. That part of the story should be eerily familiar from last year, when maneuvering over the debt ceiling ended in the downgrade of the credit of the United States. Everyone agreed that was a disaster, both for the union and for the Republican caucus. This year, though, will be totally different. Alarming quote after the jump.