Now correlation is not causation, but the best explanation for last summer's serious dip in the economic recovery? The Republican-induced debt ceiling "negotiation" (i.e., hostage-taking of the American economy). Check out these graphs from a nice Bloomberg piece from economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers:
Of course, now they are threatening to do this again. Here's Stevenson and Wolfers:
In other words, congressional Republicans are taking the government’s creditworthiness hostage when they threaten not to increase the debt ceiling.