Did Ted Cruz Just Force Republicans Into A Government Shutdown They Don't Want?

Business Insider

Having tried and failed to sell restive conservatives on plans to keep the government open without picking a fight over Obamacare, it appears that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is moving on to Plan C: Giving in to people like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) who are insisting that any bill to keep the government open after Sept. 30 must defund Obamacare.

National Review's Robert Costa tweets:

House GOP sources confirm: House GOP WILL soon bring a CR to floor that also defunds, thus putting pressure on Cruz & co to get thru Senate

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) September 17, 2013

House GOP ldrs basically saying, "Ok, Ted and conservative activists, if you think you can rally public behind this, get it thru Senate..."

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) September 17, 2013

"... and if you can't, you're going to have to let us use another option. But we'll play along and try this--for now."

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) September 17, 2013

I guess the idea is that House Republicans will open with a demand of defunding Obamacare and see if Senate Democrats agree to go along. (Spoiler alert: They won't.) The question is how long Republicans have to leave this demand out there until they've officially determined the strategy isn't going to work.

Is John Boehner committing to a government shutdown now? If he caves and cuts a deal with Nancy Pelosi before Sept. 30 to keep the government open without defunding Obamacare, won't conservatives insist that he didn't try hard enough to force Democrats' hand? (Spoiler alert: They will.)

How can Boehner convince conservatives that he really, really tried to defund Obamacare if he doesn't let the government get shut down, at least for a few days?

Brian Beutler, who wrote this morning that a disastrous government shutdown might be the only way to "break the fever" in the GOP caucus, is looking prescient.



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