First, the good news: Republicans are just about ready to give up on using the threat of a government shutdown to delay or defund Obamacare.
Now, the bad: They're thinking of making the same demand — plus a whole lot more — in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling before the October 17 deadline.
According to the Washington Post, House Republicans are considering "a grand conservative wish list" to raise the debt limit that will not only delay Obamacare by one year, but will also:
- Approve the Keystone XL pipeline
- Cut $120 billion from federal health programs over the next 10 years
- "Tighten" medical malpractice laws
- Increase offshore drilling
- Stop federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions
The Post reports that Republican leadership believes this smorgasbord of rightwing desires will be enough to persuade their caucus to vote for the bill despite its raising of the debt ceiling. The White House, on the other hand, is maintaining its position that there will be no negotiations over the debt limit, and describes the Republicans' proposed plan as a non-starter.