Like thieves in the night, House Republicans took a giant step towards shutting down the government by voting to put their poison pill of delaying the ACA for a year back into the CR.
The final vote was 231-192 with 2 Democrats voted to delay Obamacare for a year, and two Republicans voted against it. The rest of the vote was strictly party line. None of this was a surprise, as House Republicans are hellbent on extorting a repeal or delay of the ACA out of the president. They aren’t going to get anything on Obamacare, but they have virtually guaranteed that the government will shutdown.
The hours of House debate were contentious. Democrats challenged Republicans by telling them that a vote to delay Obamacare was a vote in favor of a government shutdown. Republicans responded by with the ludicrous argument that they weren’t voting for a government shutdown. They were voting to keep the government running. Around and around, the debate went for hours. No new ground was covered as Republicans were content to repeat their Obamacare lies on the House floor, and angry Democrats wondered what the ACA has to do with keeping the government running.
Whether House Republicans want to admit it or not, there is a sizable contingent among their ranks who have been chasing after this moment since the day that they arrived in Washington. The idiot ideologues completed their takeover of the House Republicans tonight. They are firmly in charge now. John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and the rest of the House leadership were nowhere to be found as their party went down in flames.
It was as if the Republican leadership thought that if they stay away, they will avoid the blame for this entire situation. Out of sight, out of mind won’t work on this one. Boehner’s caving to the extremists is what caused this series of events to play out the way that they have.
The decision on when the likely government shutdown ends is still in Boehner’s hands. Harry Reid and Barack Obama aren’t going to bail the Republican Speaker out this time. Boehner’s only way out is to pass a clean CR.
The entire country may be left waiting and wondering if John Boehner is capable of putting his man pants on, and standing up the House tea party extremists who are hellbent on economic destruction.