House Republicans Ready to Reevaluate Priorities

House Republicans Ready to Reevaluate Priorities For the first time in weeks, House Republicans are putting partisan politics aside and focusing on preserving the nation’s economic stability.

As the Oct 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling looms large, Republicans shift their attention from defunding President Obama’s landmark healthcare reform bill to controlling deficit spending.

Reuters reports that the emphasis on tackling long-term debt and deficits was evident in opinion pieces published on Wednesday by Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Chairman of the House Budget Committee Paul Ryan.

Both Cantor and Ryan have publicly expressed their opinions in The Washington Post, and the latter in The Wall Street Journal. While Cantor passively mentions Obamacare by criticizing President Obama’s unwillingness to negotiate over the debt limit, the rhetoric of both Ryan and Cantor has shifted from the Affordable Care Act to curtailing costly entitlement programs and overhauling the tax code.

“This isn’t a grand bargain,” Ryan wrote, but would aid in getting “a down payment on the debt and boost the economy.”

With a small minority of House Republicans creating an impasse in Congress, Cantor and Ryan’s statements show Republicans are ready to put ideological differences aside to avoid the catastrophic consequences of failing to raise the debt ceiling by Oct 17.

It has not been easy-going for Republicans, especially Speaker of the House John Boehner. Prior to the government shutdown, a remote group of House Republicans met to undermine Boehner’s proposal to keep the government open, the National Review reports. Led by Junior Texas Senator Ted Cruz, the group of Tea Party Republicans put forward the notion of defunding the Affordable Care Act—or “Obamacare”—in order to prevent a government shutdown.

Much of Republican focus since the shutdown has centered on using the president’s healthcare reform bill as the only platform for negotiations regarding the budget and raising the debt limit.

President Obama has remained firm in his healthcare stance and has claimed the House Republicans will not hold him ransom. The combination of the president’s stern approach to negotiations and the unrealistic aim of Republican demands has led to a political stand-still.

If Congress fails to raise the amount of money the United States can borrow to pay off its debt, otherwise known as the debt ceiling, the consequences will be felt around the globe, causing a rift in the global economy. “Globalisation … means every country is in it together,” states David Blanchflower in the Independent in the UK. “Americans sneeze and Brits catch the flu.”

Written By: Nick Lowry

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