The GOP today decided to vote to extend the debt ceiling for another 13 months so the US government can pay it’s bills. Well, not exactly. In reality only 28 Republicans voted for the measure. Enough to insure its passage with Dem votes. So, what may this mean?
First and most important, the US will not be defaulting on payments. Contracts already signed and goods already delivered. Contracts underway. Interest payments. This means that for the next year, at least, American business and the rest of the world knows that the US will make good on any debts.
Second and not as important, what does this mean for the GOP? Does this mean they are finally willing to give a little and actually work with Mr Obama? Or does it simply mean that they know this is an election year and they are fearful of once again being seen as the party of “No”? Doing nothing is not much of a platform to run on.
Third, what about Boehner? While he was able to convince most of his fellow Repubs that this issue was not worth fighting, does this mean he has reasserted control of the GOP? Could he have gotten 150 votes if he had wanted to? Is this a step in leading his party to a more sane, cooperative governing style?
Fourth, what about the Tea Party? This was a very public defeat for that small group of radicals. Is this the first step in slowly ridding their negative influence on the GOP? Or will they return with a vengeance and once again try to block any progress? Or are they biding their time, hoping for big victories in the fall so they can oust Boehner from leadership and even install Cruz as Senate majority leader?
Time will tell. But for now, cooler heads have prevailed. And while some may ciaim this is a “Democratic” or “Obama” victory, that is not the case. It is a victory for common sense, stability and fiscal responsibility. Long overdue.