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OPINION - Working on a last-minute deal

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU) As I write today’s blog, I don’t know the terms of the debt ceiling deal will be.

It’s fascinating to me that the GOP can be right on policy and wrong on politics.

Here’s what should happen, but probably won’t.

The Senate deal won’t be acceptable to House Republicans. It won’t do anything to Obamacare, except, maybe force members of Congress and their staffers into the program. And in exchange for that it may also include a new carve-out for unions that Democrats want. The GOP-controlled house will be under intense pressure to pass the bill as-is. They’ll be told time has run out. Perhaps even the Senate will adjourn so any house counter-offer can’t be received.

No matter, the House should vote it down.

Then the smallest, simplest bill possible should be offered: a one month extension of the debt ceiling. That’s all. Nothing else. This is the one and only thing that all sides agree on, that default should be avoided. Everything else, from Obamacare to budgets to government shutdown, stays exactly as it is now. There’s no agreement on any of that.

A debt-ceiling-only bill would pass in the U.S. Senate. President Obama would sign it.

We’d kick the can down the road for a month. That’s where we’re at right now. It’s doubtful that’s what will happen.

Chris Conley
10.16.13