End of an Era? House GOP Skips Fight on Debt Cap
Republicans allow ceiling to increase without strings
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 11, 2014 4:49 PM CST
FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2014 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. In a concession to President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers,...   (J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – House Republicans backed away from a battle over the government's debt cap today and permitted Democrats to drive quick passage of a measure to increase the government's borrowing cap without any concessions from the White House. The 221-201 vote came hours after Speaker John Boehner announced that his fractured party would relent and not seek to add other items to the must-pass legislation. Twenty-eight Republicans voted yes. The bill would permit Treasury to borrow normally for another 13 months; the Senate is expected to pass it tomorrow.

Here's a look at how it's being played:

  • New York Times: "It effectively ended a three-year, Tea Party-fueled era when a series of budget showdowns raised the threat of debt defaults and government shutdowns, rattled economic confidence and brought serious scrutiny from an international community questioning Washington’s ability to govern."
  • Wall Street Journal: It's "a tactical retreat by Republicans stymied by their internal divisions."
  • The Hill: "Boehner's decision drew heavy criticism from conservative groups, many of whom said Boehner needs to be replaced. Many noted that the so-called 'Boehner rule' now appears dead—that was the informal name for Boehner's effort to extract spending cuts in exchange for debt ceiling hikes."
  • Politico: "It’s also a clear sign of the House Republican Conference’s inability to move beyond fiscal fights and lays in plain view the leadership’s inability—or unwillingness—to corral votes for their priorities."