Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:40 PM EDT
Republicans are growing increasingly concerned about the impact a bruising fight over raising the nation’s $14.29 trillion debt ceiling could have on U.S. financial markets.House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has had conversations with top Wall Street executives, asking how close Congress could push to the debt limit deadline without sending interests rates soaring and causing stock prices to go lower, people familiar with the matter said. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said Tuesday night that he was not aware of any such conversations.
Republicans are busily making a long list of absurd demands in exchange for raising the debt-limit ceiling, but they are running a bluff. There’s not a chance in hell they will block an increase in the debt limit. They might demand a bipartisan vote, and in divided government, that’s both reasonable and with precedent, but anyone who thinks GOP leadership will actually block an increase in the debt limit—or that Democrats need to make any concessions beyond being willing to join the GOP in voting for the debt limit increase—is absolutely out of their gourd.