Apparently Ted Cruz and John Boehner don't really care what Dennis Ross thinks.
In Saturday's New York Times, the Pol/Hillsborough County-area GOP Representative said that the now six-day-old government shutdown wasn't really about Obamacare anymore, but about the Republican Party's pride.
“Republicans have to realize how many significant gains we’ve made over the last three years — and we have, not only in cutting spending but in really turning the tide on other things,” Ross said. “We can’t lose all that when there’s no connection now between the shutdown and the funding of Obamacare.”
“I think now it’s a lot about pride,” he added.
But no one from Ross' party who showed up on network and cable news on Sunday was expressing such candor, instead maintaining their unrelenting stance that the Affordable Care Act needs to be severely amended before they'll work with President Obama in this latest Washington crisis to piss off the American public. On CNN's State of the Union, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, considered the ringleader in persuading House Speaker John Boehner to support a government shutdown, said that using the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations to stop funding the Affordable Care Act is what Republicans should do next.[jump]
"Since 1978, we raised the debt ceiling 58 times," said Cruz. "Twenty times Congress attached very specific and stringent requirements, many of the most significant spending restraints. So the president's demand to jack up the nation's credit card with no limits, no constraints — it's not reasonable."
Cruz's reference to Obama's "demand to jack up the nation's credit card" shows that the GOP is pivoting toward making debt reduction as much if not more a reason to negotiate with the president than the healthcare issue, despite the fact that the deficit has been reduced by more than $600 billion this year.
The United States will reach its borrowing limit on October 17. What happens after that? On NBC's Meet The Press, Savannah Guthrie (subbing for David Gregory) asked Treasury Secretary Jack Lew if that means that's the date the U.S. government defaults on its financial obligations?
LEW: So the reality is that if we run out of cash to pay our bills, there is no option that permits us to pay all of our bills on time. Which means that a failure of Congress to act would for the first time put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations as a government because of Congress's failure to act.
GUTHRIE: One of the reasons you're here is to sound that alarm. If this country were to default on its obligations, what would be the consequence in the economy? I mean, are you talking catastrophe?
JACK LEW: We've never crossed this line, so everyone is speculating on what happens if the unthinkable happens. Let me just read to you from what President Reagan said when he faced this. And I quote, "The full consequences of a default, or even the serious prospect of default by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and on the value of the dollar and exchange markets." Why would anyone take that risk?
Meanwhile on ABC's This Week, John Boehner tacitly admitted that Cruz and others have compelled him to stop funding the government over the ACA, and not the debt ceiling.
"I thought the fight would be over the debt ceiling," Boehner told George Stephanopoulous. "But you know, working with my members, they decided, well, let's do it now. And the fact is, this fight was going to come, one way or the other. We're in the fight. We don't want to shut the government down. We've passed bills to pay the troops. We have passed bills to make sure the federal employees know that they're going to be paid throughout this. We passed other bills."