In Axios‘ Sneak Peak newsletter, Hans Nichols and Zachary Basu used my NYT roundtable discussion to frame up the debt limit fight as their 1 Big Thing lead item.
1 big thing: A crisis years in the making
The roots of today’s debt-limit standoff stretch back to 2011, when the Tea Party movement helped force then-President Obama to agree to future spending caps in exchange for lifting the ceiling.
- For Republicans, the achievement “validated one of the animating forces of the right over the past decade-plus — that the party’s failures are a result of weak, feckless leadership, and if they fight, they win,” says GOP strategist Liam Donovan.
- For Democrats, including then-Vice President Joe Biden, the episode demonstrated why they should never negotiate with hostage-takers.
Driving the news: The Treasury Department has initiated what it calls “extraordinary measures” after the U.S. officially hit its $31.4 trillion debt limit today, giving the Biden administration and Congress six or so months to stave off a catastrophic default.
Read the full post here.