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By Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas, Published: October 15 at 8:29 am

According to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll 74 percent of Americans disapprove of how the Republicans are handling the budget negotiations. That’s three-out-of-four Americans.

Numbers like that shouldn’t happen on highly visible issues in a competitive, two-party system. But when they do happen they can’t go on for very long.

Republicans know they need a way out. In the Senate, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell may have found one. Their deal would fund the government until January 15th and raise the debt ceiling until February 7th.

The deal would also create a bicameral budget committee that will report back by December 13th, and it delays Obamacare’s reinsurance fee (more on that here) and strengthens the law’s income verification procedures.

The thing about these concessions is that none of them is actually a concession — for either party. Democrats have been begging for a budget conference for six months, and in recent weeks, Republicans began begging for one too. The reinsurance fee doesn’t matter much to Obamacare and organized labor has been begging Democrats to get rid of it. The income verification is already in Obamacare, but the Obama administration was lagging on it.

“Democrats won’t say it too loudly just yet, but the emerging budget agreement leaves Republicans with remarkably little to show for forcing the first government shutdown in 17 years,” writes Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown. “They barely nicked Obamacare and their poll numbers are in tank.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/15/wonkbook-this-number-is-the-reason-republicans-will-end-the-shutdown/

 

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