* Jonathan Strong and Robert Costa report that Republicans may be set to roll out their latest plan demanding God knows what in exchange for funding of the government and a debt ceiling hike in around 48 hours. But there appears to be a problem:
“It’s the House of indecision,” says a weary Republican aide familiar with the talks. “We don’t have the votes for a big deal, small deal, or short-term deal.”
Right. House Republicans again seem to be struggling to find something they can pass by themselves. So … how about passing something with Democrats, then?
* Meanwhile, Costa also reports that a sizable bloc of House conservatives may reject John Boehner’s latest effort to concoct a debt ceiling deal, on the grounds that it doesn’t extract nearly enough in concessions on Obamacare. A striking display of deeply unhinged expectations.
* Key: Chris Moody reports that all 54 Senate Dems will vote Yes on a “clean” debt ceiling increase, yet another sign Dems continue to remain unity on the debt limit even as Republican divisions continue to run deep.
* And GOP Senator Mark Kirk becomes the first to say he’ll support the Dem push for a clean debt ceiling increase. Only five more Republicans needed to break the GOP filibuster.
* What is the conservative response to Obama’s argument that legitimizing debt limit extortion only makes default more likely later? As Jonathan Chait points out, we don’t really know, because in the conservative bubble, that argument doesn’t even exist.
* Lede of the day, courtesy of Steven Erlanger:
The bitter fiscal stalemate in Washington is producing nervous ripples from London to Bali, with increasing anxiety that the United States might actually default on a portion of its government debt, set off global financial troubles and undercut fragile economic recoveries in many countries.
Only one party, and not the other, is demanding extensive unilateral concessions in exchange for averting what is being described here as a global threat.
* Relatedly, David Firestone is good on the “double game” Republicans are playing by using the default threat to extract maximum concessions while keeping voters in the dark about the truly dangerous nature of their extortion effort.
* An important point from Jonathan Bernstein: If Republicans entered into long term budget negotiations, they would have leverage, in the form of the sequester:
Instead, however, what they’re really doing is basically charging admission (that is, policy concessions) for getting to negotiations in the first place. And that’s something that Democrats are correct to deny them.
Exactly right. Saying No by far the best option.
* Relatedly, HuffPo catches GOP Rep. Devin Nunes trying to cover up his previous support for a “clean CR” to fund the government without defunding Obamacare. The key here is the reluctance to buck the leadership when it really counts.
Obama’s gone from 41-50 percent approve-disapprove last week to 45-51 percent now – a 9-point negative margin then, a similar 6-point negative margin today. The Democrats likewise show little change overall (from a 22- to a 26-point negative gap). But the Republicans have gone from 26-63 percent approve-disapprove to 24-70 percent, an initial 37-point difference widening now to a 46-point negative result.
* And Steve Benen defines the words “compromise” and “negotiate” so clearly that no one could possibly pretend not to see why they have nothing in common with what today’s GOP is demanding.