More than half of House Republicans are OK with a government default if President Obama won't accept their budget-cut demands, party officials tell Politico. Even more GOP lawmakers are willing to allow a government shutdown come March 27. Taking the shutdown route would help ensure "President Obama understands that we’re serious," says the House Republican Conference chair. "We always talk about whether or not we’re going to kick the can down the road. I think the mood is that we’ve come to the end of the road."
Most House Republicans are more concerned about the dangers of continued spending than they are about the economic and market risks of default or a shutdown, Politico adds. Indeed, John Boehner might have to go with a shutdown "for member-management purposes—so they have an endgame and can show their constituents they’re fighting," says a GOP adviser. While Boehner believes he can avoid default, which would follow a failure to raise the debt ceiling, leaders are, in Politico's words, "authentically at a loss" on how to win over dissenting members, an insider says. Adds an aide: "It is more likely you default than you raise any taxes." Click for more on negotiations.