Mitch McConnell. Speaker John Boehner

Debt Debate Winners and Losers

Some consider Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as the most influential player in the debt ceiling showdown. Photo by Talk Radio News Service.The debt-limit deal that emerged from many late-night, backroom discussions produced political winners and losers. Here’s our take on who won and who lost.


The Tea Party: The upstart Tea Party can claim victory for pressuring the House Republican caucus to retain its no-taxes position. It also pushed for a balanced budget constitutional amendment, which made its way into a revised budget proposal by Speaker John Boehner after his initial plan failed to attract enough Republican votes to pass in the House. The final deal contained no new tax revenues and forces Congress to vote up or down on a balanced budget amendment before the end of the year.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Some view McConnell as the most influential senator in the debt ceiling debate by stressing the importance of avoiding a national default and a compromise that could pass both the House and Senate, which are under split political control. Unlike Boehner, McConnell was mostly able to hold together his caucus of Senate Re;publicans, strengthening his position at the final bargaining table.