Tactically, they have moved the debt limit to the back of the fiscal line.
Instead of having it come first, it will now come last, with three other legislative opportunities — each far more favorable to leveraging spending cuts — coming ahead of it.
The first of these enhanced opportunities is the March 1 deadline when the two month delay (enacted in January's Fiscal Cliff deal) of automatic spending cuts (enacted in August 2011's debt limit deal) ends.
The second is March 27, when the government's current six month funding legislation expires.
And the third: April 15, the time by which each body of Congress is required to pass a budget under the new debt limit suspension legislation.
Each one of these constitutes far easier ground on which to press for spending cuts. The first two are entirely about spending.
Also in a worst case scenario — the March 27, deadline — failure would mean a government shutdown, hardly inconsequential, but hardly default either.
Tactically, House Republicans simultaneously have traded minimal for maximum leverage and lowered the stakes of failure.
As a result, the White House had little choice but to not oppose the effort and the Senate will have little choice but pass it in some form.
Even more important has been the strategic advance House Republicans have achieved. Time is Obama's greatest enemy. With each passing day, Obama gets further from his greatest strength — campaigning — and closer to his greatest weakness: being a lame duck.
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