Thursday, February 13, 2014

Epic Fail -Boehner And RINOs Cave, Join Dems to Push Through 'Clean' Debt Ceiling Increase

Republican Speaker John Boehner, and his allies in the House have made an astonishing and disgraceful retreat. After President Obama and congressional Democrats had said they weren't even open to discussing spending cuts in exchange for Republicans in the House agreeing to  raise the debt ceiling, Boehner  caved in and presented a 'clean' debt ceiling increase to the House for a vote.

Boehner and his allies in the GOP caucus originally were thinking about tacking on something modest like approval of the Keystone pipeline in exchange for the debt ceiling increase, but conservatives in the House appear to be tired of this game and wanted Boehner to insist that the White give up a lot more in exchange for raising the limits on the federal credit card.

So instead, the Speaker decided to throw in the towel, and he and Only 18 Republicans, many of them retiring after this term voted with the 200 House Democrats to push this through  and raise the debt ceiling without any quid pro quo.That essentially destroys the so-called 'Boehner rule' that pledged to quash any bills that didn't have the support of the majority of the Republican caucus. It also destroys his speakership, for all intents and purposes.

As a contrast, when the disgraceful House bill went to the Senate, it was Senator Ted Cruz who forced a vote to end cloture  by 60 votes before voting on  approval of the bill, thus forcing a lot of gutless GOP senators, some facing primary challenges out into the open. Once the vote for cloture was passed, approval was automatic since the Democrats control the Senate. And of course, some of the same Republican senators who voted to end cloture tried their usual trick and cast a cosmetic vote against the bill. But thanks to Ted Cruz, they were forced to out themselves.

President Obama and the Democrats weren't even willing to allow the GOP to add on a provision to reverse the veterans' benefits cuts that were in the Ryan-Murray budget deal. Remember that the next time our commander-in-chief mouths all those fine sounding platitudes in one of his interminable speeches about vets and the military.

Instead, the House will hold a largely cosmetic vote on this item separately, and will have to bargain hard with the White House to even have a chance of getting it through. Speaker Boehner is proposing
additional sequester cuts in 2024 as an opening gambit..otherwise know,  for those whom remember the old Popeye cartoons, an offer to pay Thursday for a hamburger today.

This really is the end of an era, when a GOP-led House would abdicate its constitutionally mandated power in such a craven fashion.It really is all about leadership and strategy, and Republican leadership that understood that  would have been bringing relevant bills  out almost weekly and forcing Democrats to vote against it, ready made campaign fodder for November. Instead, we get this cowardly, clueless headlong retreat.

As for John Boehner, it's the end of his speakership as well. The Obama Administration has no respect for him whatsoever, and neither does the majority of his caucus. If he had any real regard for the country and his party, he'd either resign as Speaker right now or at least announce his intention to resign, so the House could begin vetting someone to replace him. 

The reason Boehner even became Speaker in the first place  is because Republican conservatives and the Tea Party elected a House majority that they had every right to expect to represent those views.Instead, the man who began his tenure as Speaker by reading the Constitution on the House floor betrayed them, as well as the basic precepts of that document. Whether he did it intentionally or out of weakness and fear doesn't matter at this point.

Get you gone, Cataline, get you gone.

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