Resolution on debt limit spares GOP a political fight, provides election-year argument

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2014 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republicans’ new acquiescence to letting the government pile up more debt with no strings attached spared them another politically debilitating showdown with President Barack Obama while forcing Democrats to cast votes that rivals immediately used against them in the campaign for November. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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By DONNA CASSATA, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans' new acquiescence to letting the government pile up more debt with no strings attached has spared them another politically debilitating showdown with President Barack Obama.

It also has forced Democrats to cast votes that rivals immediately used against them in the campaign toward November's midterm elections.

The GOP's top priority is maintaining its House majority and seizing control of the Senate. The political strategy is simply to talk incessantly about Obama's unpopular health care law and to avoid cataclysmic fights like the one that led to last fall's 16-day partial government shutdown.

That largely rules out the contentious issue of overhauling the nation's immigration laws.

Republicans wanted to avoid the drama of a possible default and the political fallout from last year's government shutdown.

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