WASHINGTON -- A crack appeared Wednesday morning in the conservatives' united front against President Barack Obama in the budget-and-borrowing crisis of 2013.
Michael Needham, CEO of the powerful group Heritage Action, said that he opposed conditioning a crucial vote to increase the government's borrowing authority on the group's main goal: defunding Obamacare.
Under questioning at a breakfast with reporters, hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Needham, a product of the Stanford Business School, conceded that failure to raise the debt ceiling would indeed disrupt the global economy.
"I'm sure the markets will react negatively," he said, even if, as he suggested was possible, the Treasury could "prioritize" interest payments to foreign bondholders.
Rather than try to hold the debt ceiling vote hostage to the defunding of Obamacare, he said, the better "tactical" course for Heritage and other key foes of the administration is to continue to focus on annual spending -- and on allowing the full opening of government only if Obamacare is dismantled.
"No, we should raise the debt limit," he said, though he added that he would oppose an increase that extends until after the 2014 election, which is Obama's preferred outcome.