The Republican Party is in complete disarray as Sen. Ted Cruz is now leading a House Republican rebellion against John Boehner’s plan to avoid a government shutdown.
National Review Online has the details of Cruz advising the House Republicans:
On a Thursday conference call, a group of House conservatives consulted with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas about how to respond to the leadership’s fiscal strategy. Sources who were on the call say Cruz strongly advised them to oppose it, and hours later, Speaker John Boehner’s plan fizzled.
It’s the latest example of Cruz leading the House’s right flank.
The private call came together after Boehner unveiled his strategy at a Republican conference meeting earlier this week. Boehner’s plan — to focus on a debt-limit package, rather than a drawn-out CR battle — made many conservatives uneasy. As they mulled a response, they reached out to Cruz.
On the call, Cruz told them that Boehner was making a mistake, and urged his friends to fight until the end on the CR. The group agreed, and they complained that Boehner’s shift to the debt limit was a diversion. Senator Mike Lee of Utah joined Cruz on the call, and both senators said they’d stand with House conservatives as they opposed the leadership.
Later Thursday, Cruz met again with House conservatives at a venue near the Capitol. According to one House member, the bicameral bloc talked deep into the night about the CR and how to pressure Boehner. At the top of the agenda: making a one-year delay of Obamacare a requirement for government funding, and to accept nothing less, should the defunding effort continue to unravel. There is fear the Boehner is resistant to making that demand as part of a CR, and conservatives discussed ways to force his hand.
The House Republican leadership has no power over their own caucus. Anything Speaker John Boehner says is meaningless, because a number of House Republicans are taking their orders from Ted Cruz.
This showdown is not about Obama and the Democrats versus the Republicans. It’s Ted Cruz versus John Boehner.
As Cruz and Boehner fight it out, the Speaker may have to turn to President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and the House Democrats to avoid a crisis. Boehner may have to give up a lot and deliver a handful of votes if he expects the Democrats to once again save him from his own party. However, it looks like the White House and Rep. Pelosi are content to let Boehner sleep in the bed that he has made. There are no talks public or private talks going on between Boehner and the White House.
The congressional Republicans have moved beyond dysfunction, and are steamrolling towards destruction.
What this means in terms of government shutdown is that it looks very, very likely that there will be no agreement to avoid it. Boehner will probably have to send the same bill back to the Senate that they just rejected.
Foolish House Republicans are being led on a suicide mission by a man who is risking nothing. It is full on civil war now, and Ted Cruz is out to destroy the Republican Party.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association