Earlier on Tuesday, I wrote about how Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) was looking for any possible way to score a political victory for Republicans from raising the debt ceiling. Apparently, realizing he was in a no-win situation, Boehner finally conceded on Tuesday morning and told his caucus that he will bring a a clean debt ceiling bill to the House floor on Tuesday evening. He will not ask for any concessions from Democrats and the bill will solely be to just raise the country’s borrowing limit.
This is a clear victory for the President. You cannot look at it in any other way. By standing tall against the Republicans and telling them time and time again that he will not negotiate around the full faith and credit of the United States, he finally broke the House GOP of their hostage taking ways. Boehner knew that both the Senate and the President would not accept any bill that came over with any conditions attached, even if they were relatively popular on a bipartisan level (like restoring cuts to pensions for military veterans.)
Boehner also had to deal with his own caucus and what they would accept and vote for. He wasn’t going to be able to get 218 Republican votes for a debt ceiling bill that included spending increases, like what he proposed regarding the military pensions. In fact, it is doubtful he could have gotten enough Republican votes on anything he proposed unless it offered draconian cuts to social programs or Obamacare. Even then, it would be DOA with the Senate and President.
At this point, Boehner is just tossing in the towel and giving up. You can sense that he is just done with the silliness of dealing with House Republicans. He is going to rely on Democrats to carry this bill in the House and then it will easily pass the Senate and move to the President’s desk. All he has to do is get 18 House Republicans to vote for the clean debt ceiling bill, which should be no problem, as you figure there are at least that many in more moderate or swing districts that are willing to put their neck on the line and do what’s right by the country without worrying about their conservative vote ratings.
Can this finally signal the end of governing by crisis that we’ve seen since Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 2011? Gene Sperling, the White House National Economic Council Director, sure hopes it is:
“I hope the tactic of threatening default for budget debates is over, off the table and never to happen again.”
I am sure we’ll see Republicans in both the House and Senate still try to obstruct and prevent the President from getting anything done. However, it is refreshing to see that some of them are finally realizing that they can’t keep going along the same path and thinking that the American public will support them in the end. Eventually, they have to prove that they can effectively govern, and they’ve spent the past 3 years proving that they aren’t willing to do that.
It seems like Boehner finally knows the score. Or maybe he is just that sick and tired of dealing with a completely dysfunctional group of lawmakers. Regardless, he’s decided to do the right thing. Will his fellow Republicans start following suit? Or will they just cast him aside and find someone else to be their rubber stamp leader and lead them to oblivion?