Saturday, July 30, 2011

Did House Republicans Score a Big Win and House Speaker Boehner Score a Big Loss?

Look Out Mr. Speaker, Another Vote is Coming 

On Friday the Speaker of the House of Representative, John Boehner (R, Oh) amended his debt ceiling/deficit reduction bill to require that a future increase in the debt ceiling would only take place if the Congress passed and sent to the states a Balanced Budget Amendment.  This won him enough votes from the radical Conservative group of House members to narrowly pass his bill. 
Why is this man smiling?

Mr. Boehner’s Speakership was saved, but that may have been temporary.  The issue has not been settled, and one of the following three outcomes must take place.

  1. The Senate and the President accept the House bill.  This is the outcome that Mr. Boehner and his colleagues based their strategy on.  They apparently believe, against all evidence to the contrary, that if their bill was the only game in town, the Senate and the President would be forced to accept it in order to avoid default and avoid the political blame that would go with it.  This is a possible but still extremely unlikely outcome.

  1. There is no further raising of the debt limit, the country defaults, government spending is cut so that the budget is balanced beginning August 2.  This outcome appears to be impossible.

  1. The Senate passes a compromise bill which must be approved by the House.  This is Mr. Boehner’s nightmare, he may just not know that yet.  To pass a debt ceiling bill Mr. Boehner will need 30 to 50 Republican votes because not all the Democrats will vote to raise the debt ceiling, and even if they did he is still 28 votes short of a majority. 

For Mr. Boehner to have to corral this many Republican votes will be difficult and will put him once again on the wrong side of his party’s radical Conservative group.  Complicating matters will be his second in command, Mr. Eric Cantor the Majority Leader who certainly has designs on Mr. Boehner’s Speakership. 

Oh, and even if Mr. Boehner can get the votes to pass a revised debt ceiling bill, there is always the October 1 problem.  What, you don’t know about the October 1 problem.  Well things are too depressed right now to go into that, we all want to have a nice weekend.

Will Mr. Cantor support Mr. Boehner?  Will Any Republicans Support Mr. Boehner?  Will Mr. Boehner end up with the blame that was going to Mr. Obama and the Democrats?  Those questions and many more will be answered in the August edition of “Idiots in Government”.

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