House Republicans begin acting like the minority party, retreat on debt ceiling

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Backing down from their hard-line stance, House Republicans said Friday that they would agree to lift the federal government’s statutory borrowing limit for three months, with a requirement that both chambers of Congress pass a budget in that time to clear the way for negotiations on long-term deficit reduction, the New York Times reports. 

But the Washington Post notes the strategy “faces an uncertain future with Democrats, who fear that dragging out the debt ceiling fight into the spring would inject new and harmful uncertainty into the economy.”

Mark Halperin believes “the most important dynamic in the fiscal cliff fight is the advantages the Democrats have: the President is more popular than congressional Republicans; Democrats are more united than Republicans on strategy and tactics; and the President is about to have unmatchable platforms with the inauguration and State of the Union.”

House Republicans appeared to be coming to grips with a stark realization as they returned to Washington from a three-day retreat here — they have a majority in name only, The Hill notes.

The party begins the 113th Congress with reduced numbers and confronting a popular president and an increased Democratic majority in the Senate. Preparing for a cascade of fiscal battles and a presidential push on guns and immigration, the House GOP is adopting a minority posture, hoping to achieve modest goals incrementally while serving as a check on Obama’s ambitious second-term agenda.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.