A day after John Boehner told them to pass a clean debt ceiling increase, House Republicans ignored him and can’t agree on a bill to avoid economic disaster.
According to Roll Call:
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio met with his top leadership team Wednesday morning to discuss the next steps, but leaders and staff do not yet have a plan for how to proceed, aides said.
Boehner and leaders have said they intend to do so, but their rank and file has insisted that they need to attach Republican legislative priorities to the bill in order for them to support the policy. The problem is that between members’ far-flung demands, there is no consensus about one add-on that could bring the conference together.
Speaker Boehner offered to attach a measure that would repeal a section of the ACA or get the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline moving, but neither option got enough support from House Republicans to pass.
House Republicans are once again making insane demands, like the total repeal of the ACA or massive spending cuts to social programs, before they will consider raising the debt limit. None of these ransom notes disguised as legislation will ever pass the Senate, or be signed into law by President Obama.
This is the same pointless dance that the country has been doing with tea party Republicans since they arrived in Congress in 2011. A group of House Republicans view the looming threat of economic annihilation as a position of strength from which they demand the implementation of their unpopular agenda. Despite the fact that they have consistently failed, they are going to stomp their feet again while demanding something for nothing on the debt limit.
Yesterday, Boehner warned Republicans what was going to happen if they marched down this path. He told them that if they refuse to pass a clean increase in the debt limit, the Senate may act first by passing a debt limit hike that includes an extension of unemployment benefits.
This would result in the exact same situation that occurred during the government shutdown. Democrats would just say no, and wait out the House Republicans, who will cave and pass the Senate bill when they start feeling the political pain that comes from their foolishness. Democrats aren’t going to give the House Republicans anything, because they don’t have to.
Rep. Boehner will likely be on television soon telling the country how House Republicans will only accept the complete destruction of Obamacare in exchange for raising the debt limit.
John Boehner isn’t leading the House Republicans. They are leading him, and they are really are dumb enough to provoke an economic crisis in an election year when their own seats are on the line. Boehner can’t lead. He won’t lead, and that’s why the country will once again be forced to deal with the political equivalent of Republican tween angst and drama throughout the month of February.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a 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