Victory comes with price for House GOP
By almost any measure, House Republicans scored a major victory with the debt-limit deal, but it is a win that could come with its own political costs.
The agreement signed on Tuesday satisfied two of the GOP’s longstanding demands: that spending cuts exceed the increase in the debt limit, and that taxes do not go up.
Yet the near-collapse of Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) own proposal last week raised lingering questions about whether the Tea Party can be part of a governing majority, and the “messy” sausage-making, in the words of President Obama, arguably reflected worse on congressional Republicans than it did on Democrats.
Public opinion favored the president throughout the process, and Obama was able to successfully portray the House GOP as the chief obstacle to the deal that eluded Washington until the eleventh hour.
While Boehner easily won enough Republican support for the final deal, the Speaker stumbled in the bigger test of passing his own legislation. Boehner prevailed after a day’s delay only after revising the bill to mollify conservatives, narrowly avoiding the kind of embarrassing defeat that could have threatened his Speakership.