It's the IMF, Stupid

As impeachment looms on the Hill, the global economy is in dire need of some Republican multitasking

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WASHINGTON: OK, this impeachment thing is pretty important. But with only days left before Congress hits the campaign trail, the global economy is still burning. And most of the world would prefer the House do its fiddling over something a little more proactive -- like giving the IMF the $18 billion it desperately needs to keep pouring water on the fast-spreading economic blaze. The Senate Republicans have already cleared the money, but in the House, GOP leaders still want to dictate firefighting terms to the international fund, calling for less secrecy, tougher lending terms and shorter repayment time for borrowing governments.

Thankfully, elections are just around the corner. TIME business reporter Bernard Baumohl says that fear of a voter backlash -- always politics' most potent motivator -- may end up pushing Republicans into a compromise passage. "There has to be a point when Congress realizes that unless this money is released to the IMF, the world recession is going to engulf the U.S.," he says. "And that would leave the Republicans as the ones who allowed it to happen."