Paul Ryan concedes, in effect, that holding the economy hostage is part of the GOP’s strategy


The fact that congressional Republicans put partisan politics ahead of American economic interests should come as no surprise to anyone.

But it’s noteworthy when Rep. Paul Ryan pretty much concedes that point, as we see HERE:

Rep. Paul Ryan, the House GOP’s budgetary chieftain, gave a brief but remarkable inteview to the Washington Examiner’s David Drucker in which he essentially conceded that Republicans will only negotiate with Democrats over the budget if they can hold the U.S. economy hostage to increase their leverage.

Ryan didn’t say that explicitly, of course, but once you cut through all the familiar Ryan gibberish, that’s his plain meaning. In the interview, Ryan discusses the fact that Republicans don’t want to enter into conference negotiations over the budget (even though they had previously insisted on “regular order” for a long time). Instead, Ryan wants a pre-conference agreement before regular conference negotiations. He gives a bunch of procedural reasons for this, such as the fact that if conference negotiations fail, the House minority has the authority to force Republicans to take uncomfortable votes (on so called “motions to instruct”).


The simple fact of the matter here is that Republicans are not willing to enter into negotiations over the budget unless they can use the threat of crashing the economy to get more of what they want. To this apparent end, conservative Senators such as Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have insisted that Dems agree in advance of any budget talks not to make the debt limit any part of them — a position supported by Mitch McConnell. But as Jonathan Chait noted recently, Democrats can’t do this; it would mean “they couldn’t strike any deal because Republicans would come back in the fall demanding more concessions in return for not blowing up the world economy.”