To The Editor:

In an ominous sign, Republican leaders in the U.S. House last week had to delay a vote to keep the government running through mid-December because they didn’t have enough support. Once again, unfortunately, budget hard-liners in the GOP caucus are threatening to shut down the government in order to extract spending concessions

In this case, however, the desired concession is the defunding of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, even though beyond the House, the defunding is unlikely.

It has essentially no chance occurring without a major change in the political landscape in Washington.

So long as President Obama resides in the White House and the Senate is controlled by Democrats, Obamacare is not going away. Regardless, the debt limit must be raised by October.

To be clear, the debt limit is a separate issue from the funding of government or Obamacare. Unless the ceiling is raised, the government will be unable to pay bills and the nation’s credit rating would be jeopardized.

The last time a Republican House shut down government was during the Clinton administration in 1995. The result was that the Democrats took over the House in the next election.

Holding the debt ceiling hostage to Obamacare or anything else is misguided in my view, and it will probably hurt Republicans more than Democrats.