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Politico: Boehner Started Shutdown, Risks Default

From the Politico:

Warring GOP factions sink John Boehner plan

By JAKE SHERMAN and JOHN BRESNAHAN | October 15, 2013

In the end, it wasn’t only hard-line GOP conservatives that sank Speaker John Boehner’s plan to reopen the federal government and lift the $16.7 trillion debt limit.

The Ohio Republican, battered from three years of intra-party battles, was caught between at least three different GOP factions as he tried to craft a compromise agreement: Republicans who didn’t want to slash government health care contributions for Capitol Hill aides, members who thought repealing the medical device tax was a giveaway to corporate America and conservatives, who thought Republican leaders were too soft on Obamacare.

There are Republicans who think the medical device tax shouldn’t be done away with?

Boehner was unable to craft a deal that would satisfy all of the groups, forcing him to shelve his plan and show the world — again — just how hard it is for him to rule the raucous House Republican Conference.

No amount of political gymnastics would help him reach the crucial 217 vote-level to send a bill to the Senate. GOP aides said that Boehner was — at a minimum — 20 to 30 votes short of the target.

So a day that had started with some promise for Boehner ended in disaster.

Is it a disaster that the Republicans’ caving has been put off a day?

It put Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in prime position to strike a deal to solve Washington’s fiscal crisis. And it all but ensures that the shutdown he started — and the unprecedented debt default he risked — will end on someone else’s terms.

Mind you, this is not an editorial. Meanwhile, someone should remind the Politico that, according to the Constitution, all spending bills have to originate in the House. And the House has passed many spending bills with bipartisan votes. It has been the Democrat-controlled Senate that has blocked them, which has caused the shutdown and the debt ceiling delay.

Also, if the Democrats would allow a real budget to be passed, we wouldn’t have these CR debates every three months.

The real question for Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is what comes next. Do they have to show more opposition by amending the bill, and continuing the grind of a multiweek shutdown and debt default crisis? Or can they simply put a Senate-passed compromise on the floor, saying the fight is over? …

Boehner, Cantor and McCarthy face an ongoing dilemma: The House GOP Conference is like a balloon. Squeeze it one place, and a problem pops out somewhere else.

They have few, if any, tools to discipline conservative and tea party affiliated members. And they never whipped today’s proposal, assuming they could round up the votes for it without doing so.

Boehner’s closest allies say they doubt he can afford another round of back-and-forth with his conference. They think this battle is over. Tuesday showed the inability of House Republicans to choose a plan, and stick to it…

The long-term impacts of Tuesday’s turmoil are not clear. Will Boehner suffer further erosion in his support from conservatives and tea party affiliated members, who already view him warily? Will Cantor’s future prospects in leadership suffer because he was at the negotiating table alongside Boehner? …

Now a few things are nearly certain: The House will have to wait for the Senate to act. They’re likely to get jammed. And it will be tough for Congress to come together before the Thursday debt ceiling deadline, risking further political damage to the GOP — and the nation.

And never mind that the Politico is even less concerned about any damage to the GOP than they are about any damage to the nation. In fact, if they were concerned about the nation, they would point out the insanity of borrowing more money to pay off the money we are already borrowing.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Politico: Boehner Started Shutdown, Risks Default”

  1. Yes. There are Republicans who will vote against ridding us of the medical device tax.

    Yes, there are.

  2. BillK

    Boehner is the number one reason I refuse to donate to the GOP any more.

    Note also it’s my personal crusade to remind people that Michele Bachmann’s vote was the one that re-elected Boehner as speaker, so so much for her conservative credentials.


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