With the double crises of a government shutdown and a potential debt default now over, Republicans are taking stock of what they learned from the political battle and how to chart a path forward. Our Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Geoff Bennett has more.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Thursday, even after the crisis had come to an end, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was still sticking it to Republicans for shutting down the government and bringing the country to the brink of default.
"And why? Because of anti-government ideologues in the Republican caucus where the tail is wagging the dog. And everybody described it as ’Oh, it’s just a few. It's 30-some.' But 62 percent of their caucus voted to keep government shut down," Pelosi said.
Congressional Republicans openly admitted defeat in their weeks-long battle with Democrats. That’s led to hand-wringing and second guessing among some House Republicans, who led an unsuccessful charge against the president’s health care law.
"Regrets? I’ve had a few," said Texas Representative Louie Gohmert.
And squabbling over who should take the blame for the political damage. Many mainstream Republicans and Democrats are targeting Texas senator Ted Cruz, who became the face of the "Defund Obamacare" movement.
"We have the lowest numbers now in the history of the party and I attribute this almost entirely to Ted Cruz and to the Republicans who allowed him to lead us into this valley," said New York Representative Peter King.
"I think the thing that's going to send a message to these Tea Party folks is when they get sent home," said New York Representative Sean Patrick Maloney.
But conservative Republicans say they were right to stick to their principles.
"You know, there’s no shame in fighting the fight when you represent your people," North Carolina Representative Mark Meadows said.
The bill the president signed into law keeps the government running and extends the debt limit into early next year. And some wondered if the country will find itself back on the brink in just a few months. A reporter asked the president that very question Wednesday night.
"Is this going to happen all over again in a few months?" the reporter asked.
"No," Obama replied.
That’s, in part, because Republicans say they can’t shoulder another political fiasco in an election year. And on Thursday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said he won’t allow another government shutdown as part of a GOP strategy to repeal the president’s health care law as Republican lawmakers look ahead.
"We’ve got to move on now. We’ve got to get our economy going again, put people to work and get people off the unemployment rolls," said Texas Representative Roger Williams.