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Has John Boehner surrendered on debt ceiling?

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

(Read caption) House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks to a Republican strategy session on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013.

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There are numerous press reports Friday that Speaker John Boehner has told some Republican House members that he won’t hang tough on a debt ceiling fight. He’ll agree to use a combination of Democratic and establishment Republican votes to hike the ceiling so as to avoid damaging America’s credit and economy, according to these stories.

Is this really the case? Because if it’s true, that means the worst-case scenario of the current Washington fiscal crisis – a US default on its debts in the midst of a government shutdown – won’t come to pass.

We’ll get to our judgment in a second. First, a public-service reminder: The debt limit problem is separate from the fiscal dispute that’s shut down the government, strictly speaking.


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