Depths of irresponsibility: GOP on the debt limit

House Speaker John Boehner (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Speaker of the House John Boehner (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Just as there was yesterday, there’s another rumored offer from House Republicans on the debt limit. A different offer. Which, apparently, they’re going to discuss at yet another meeting of their conference tomorrow.

It’s probably worth taking a step back to recognize just how irresponsible all of this is:

• The actual date for a debt-limit extension was weeks ago; Republicans totally ignored it, forcing Treasury to (once again) resort to “extraordinary measures.”

• Those measures are scheduled to run out on Oct. 17. That’s Thursday.

• In all that time, Republicans have not put anything on the House floor. Zilch. Nothing with crazy ransom demands. Nothing with compromised, smaller ransom demands. Nothing.

As irresponsible as Republicans have been on the funding bill, at least on that they did make a tiny effort. It wasn’t much; all they offered was a short-term continuing resolution packed with a clearly unreasonable price for Democrats to keep the government functioning. But at least they had an offer.

Not only that, but the nature of the hostages is different. While it is somewhat risky to come close to a deadline on a government-funding bill, the risk is much, much greater on the debt limit.

Republicans do seem to be getting ready to surrender (although they seem to have only reached the stage at which they’re asking for rewards for surrendering; it may take a while longer for them to fully understand the concept). A true economic disaster may yet be avoided. But everyone should remember just how irresponsible they’ve been on this one.

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