House Republicans are set to unveil a debt-limit package that could stand-in as a Republican policy wish-list, according to the Washington Examiner. Along with lifting the debt-ceiling and delaying Obamacare by one year, the package will include funding of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, tax reform, Medicare means testing, and other longtime rightwing priorities. The plan is being put forward in part as an alternative to Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Mike Lee's push to defund Obamacare by threatening a government shutdown:
Republicans are hoping that a small band of conservatives pushing to defund Obamacare -- and risking a government shutdown to achieve that -- will agree to postpone the health care fight once the Democratic Senate strips their defunding provision from the House-passed budget bill. Voters only mildly support raising the nation's borrowing limit and this route could offer Republicans more leverage to extract concessions, particularly since Obama is refusing to negotiate over the debt ceiling.
“There’s more leverage on the debt ceiling,” conceded Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who is nonetheless committed to pushing for the full and permanent defunding of Obamacare through current budget negotiations.
“I hope people are coming to the realization that shutting down the government is not going to stop Obamacare,” a senior House Republican added.