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A do-over' for the GOP? What the papers are saying about the shutdown deal

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) walks to the House Chamber for a vote October 16, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. On the 16th day of a government shutdown, the House has passed a bill to reopen the government until January 15 and raise the nation's debt ceiling until February 7, 2014. Credit: Getty Images

A roundup of some editorials regarding the last-minute government shutdown-debt ceiling deal reached by Congress Wednesday night...

Washington Post: "The past few weeks have showed that the GOP ultra-right cannot be appeased. That leaves the party no responsible choice but to confront it. In that respect, Wednesday’s deal gave [House Speaker John] Boehner and other GOP leaders something they little deserve but greatly need: a do-over."

Wall Street Journal: "For weeks [Republican Sen. Ted] Cruz scolded his fellow Republicans as the 'surrender caucus' and closet supporters of ObamaCare because they wouldn't support his strategy to tie a vote to fund the government to defunding ObamaCare. His GOP colleagues thought the Cruz strategy was futile, and politically dumb, as it proved to be. Yet now even Mr. Cruz is admitting that there are limits to what Republicans can achieve when they control only one house of Congress. Maybe he's learning, or maybe his earlier accusations were, well, less than sincere."

The Washington Times, for its part, re-published a speech made by then-Sen. Obama in 2006, in which he opposed raising the debt ceiling.

New York Times: "[T]he outcome vindicates the strong stance taken by [President] Obama and Senate Democrats against the Republicans’ extortionate demands. Two years ago, when he was first confronted with the Republican refusal to raise the debt ceiling, Mr. Obama blinked and agreed to a budget control law that severely slashed domestic spending and will continue to do so for years through the sequester.

"Determined not to give in this time, he refused all of the most outrageous demands. The Republicans pushed the nation to the brink of default, and pulled back at the last minute when it was clear the White House would not capitulate.

"But this doesn’t mean the brinkmanship is over."

Los Angeles Times: "[T]he House GOP got bupkis for the crisis it precipitated by holding the entire government hostage to an attack on Obamacare.

"And what did we get? Another blow to the struggling economy. Economists say the shutdown cost billions of dollars in lost wages and consumer spending. Investors were rattled at the notion that Congress might deliberately not pay some of the country's bills. And the vaunted U.S. democratic process took a beating globally."

USA Today: "Yes, today's GOP is far less inclined to compromise. ... Even so, as the 16-day shutdown lurches to its entirely predictable conclusion, they know that the best interests of the Republican Party are in getting out of the place they're occupying.

"Obama and Senate Democrats, meanwhile, need to avoid the temptation to gloat and demand further capitulation. The two sides are staring at three areas — a 'grand bargain' on deficit reduction, immigration reform and tax simplification — where majorities for major legislation could be built.

"Though ideological rigidity still stands in the way, there is a chance that progress could be made — particularly if polls show voters growing even more disgusted with continued gridlock, manufactured crises and self-inflicted economic wounds."

One last thing…
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