As online "Countdown Clocks" count the hours before there's a debt ceiling disaster, the spotlight is on the individuals and groups who can make or break a deal. We've heard a lot about the Senate's Gang of Six, members of the Administration, House leaders Boehner and Cantor, and the radical Tea Party Republicans who allegedly hold 'veto power' over any proposed deal.
But another group holds at least as much power as those radical Republicans, and it has the added advantage of representing views that are widely supporting by Americans in both political parties. That group is the House Progressive Caucus.
The media coverage is revealing. Tea Party Republican Joe Walsh holds no official position in Congress except that of a freshman Representative, and his economic views are far to the right of the American mainstream. Yet as we write this, a Google News search on "Joe Walsh" (excluding "guitar" and "Eagles" to eliminate "Rocky Mountain Way" Joe Walsh) gets 1,461 hits. Rep. Keith Ellison, on the other hand, co-chairs a large Congressional caucus whose support may be vital to the passage of any deal. Yet his name only gets 157 hits - a figure that falls even more when you eliminate references to his religion. more »
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