Once Again, It All Comes Down to John

October 14th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

It looks like the Senate is hammering out a deal to end the shutdown/debt ceiling debacles–they appear to arguing over time parameters, e.g., how long the budget patch, ceiling-increase will last. But both Reid and McConnell just appeared to say they’re making progress and I believe them.

But here’s the question: will Speaker Boehner allow whatever comes over from the Senate to go directly to the floor of the House or will he let his caucus change it?

If the former, this benighted chapter of our political history is likely over, though a new benighted chapter comes next.  If the latter, we remain in high dysfunction, drawing ever closer to default.

In that spirit, allow me to paste in this post from the other day, just in case the Speaker missed it and needs to be reminded of the awesome speech he could give on the floor, maybe even later this evening:

According to a CNN survey of members of the House, and contrary to what Speaker Boehner said yesterday, there are enough votes in that chamber to end the shutdown.  Of course, we’re talking a small minority of R’s voting with all the D’s, but there it is.

A friend asks, “How’d you like to be John Boehner right now?”

Clearly, I’m daydreaming, but I’d like it.  Because I’d stride to the podium, whack the gavel, and say:

“My friends, it is well past time for the people’s House to express the will of the people.

I have proudly stood with my colleagues for over a week now in a valiant and historic effort to prevent the American people from being afflicted with the scourge of Obamacare.  I will continue to stand with you against an implacable opposition that refuses to negotiate.

But my friends, we are better than that.  We are willing to put our convictions and principles to the test–a test that will reveal if the majority of this body is willing to cave to the opposition’s call for a bill to fund the government at current levels with no conditions.

My hope and my belief that the majority will stand with me, with the great Sen. Cruz, with the economicscholar Rep. Ted Yoho, until the shutdown and debt ceiling threats force our opponents to the negotiating table.

So, in contrast to our filibustering friends in the other chamber, let majority rule in the people’s House as we decide whether this shutdown ends now or we continue to hold fast until the President and his allies yield.

That may not be the best strategy for my personal, narrow interests.  I may even lose my speakership.  Maybe I will be “primaried.”  But it is what my country needs of me at this moment, and that it what matters most.”

I’ll bet he could even squeeze out some tears on that last part.  And, yeah, the part about Yoho was just snark.

So there you go Speaker Boehner, no charge.  And if those Tea Partiers cut you loose, latte on me at the Starbucks of your choice.  Have you tried the Pumpkin Spice?  Yum!

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2 comments in reply to "Once Again, It All Comes Down to John"

  1. Jim Dotzler says:

    Jared… You write that it all comes down to John Boehner. Maybe not. Given a very recent change of rules in the House, it would seem that it comes down to Eric Cantor instead:

    ” Under normal House rules, according to House Democrats, once that bill had been rejected again by the Senate, then any member of the House could have made a motion to vote on the Senate’s bill. Such a motion would have been what is called “privileged” and entitled to a vote of the full House. At that point, Democrats say, they could have joined with moderate Republicans in approving the motion and then in passing the clean Senate bill, averting a shutdown. But previously, House Republicans had made a small but hugely consequential move to block them from doing it.

    Here’s the rule in question: “When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged.”

    In other words, if the House and Senate are gridlocked as they were on the eve of the shutdown, any motion from any member to end that gridlock should be allowed to proceed. Like, for example, a motion to vote on the Senate bill. That’s how House Democrats read it. But the House Rules Committee voted the night of Sept. 30 to change that rule for this specific bill. They added language dictating that any motion “may be offered only by the majority Leader or his designee.” So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t. ”


  2. purple says:

    Name someone better in the Republicans who has a legitimate chance to win the House leadership. It’s probably not a great idea for the Democrats to destroy Boehner, which it looks like this will do.