Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ms. Pelosi, They Are Getting Ready for Your Appearance; Mr. Boehner, You May Have Been Had

See The Amazing Boehner Man Try to Escape From This Trap

A tentative deal to raise the debt ceiling and cut federal spending over a 10 year period emerged Sunday.  The deal, which has the approval of Mr. Obama, Mr. Reid who is the Senate Democratic majority leader and Mr. McConnell who is the Senate Republican minority leader looks something like this.

  1. An immediate increase of $400 billion in the Treasury’s borrowing authority.

  1. A second increase of $900 billion later this fall.  It would take a 2/3 vote in each branch of Congress to prevent this borrowing.

  1. A third increase of $1.2 trillion with cuts identified by a bi-partisan Congressional committee.  If the cuts were not made, $1.2 trillion would be automatically cut from discretionary programs, with half from defense, half from social programs.

Who Got Left Out?

While specific cuts have not been identified (that would throw the whole process out) it also appears that Social Security and Medicaid would not be subject to cuts.  Medicare will, however.  The Dismal Political Economist expects major cuts in Education, Energy, and Health Care.

Noticeably silent in all of this is Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner.  As noted earlier by The Dismal Political Economist, Mr. Boehner could be in real trouble.  First of all Mr. Boehner snookered the radical tea party members of the House into supporting his earlier bill by including a provision that no subsequent debt ceiling rise could take place without adoption of a Balanced Budget Amendment, the infamous BBA.

Who got Left Out?

Mr. Boehner knew this provision would never hold, and he went into negotiations with the rest of the cast and immediately tossed it aside.  The radicals, divorced from reality and believing their own press clippings were probably surprised and angered that the final agreement contained only a promise to vote on the BBA, something the House has already done and failed to pass.

Now Mr. Boehner must make the dreaded call to Ms. Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House Democrats and beg her for votes.  Ms. Pelosi has been totally out of the picture thus far, because the House of Representatives operates on a total and complete majority rule basis, and Ms. Pelosi is not the majority any more.  She could be and has been safely ignored so far, not only by Mr. Boehner but also by her own party.  Until now she has been irrelevant.

The Speaker now recognizes
Ms. Pelosi - and thanks her for
her paitence

Once Mr. Boehner has the approximate number from Ms. Pelosi, he must now find the rest of the votes from Republicans.  He must also convince his second in command, Majority Leader Cantor to support him and not do what Mr. Cantor so desperately wants to do, which is stab Mr. Boehner in the back and take over the Speakership. 

So Mr. Boehner who suckered the tea party radicals into saving his leadership position last Friday now finds himself set up by the Senate leader Mr. McConnell.  (He was warned by The Dismal Political Economist)

At stake is both the deal itself but also the speaker. If Mr. Boehner has to pass the vote by relying on Democratic votes—and if he loses more than half of GOP lawmakers in the process—he might avert default while imperiling his effectiveness as a leader.

Can Mr. Boehner get the votes he needs to keep Republicans from being blamed for a default? If he does, does he lose the support of his caucus down the road and lose the Speakership in January?  If he does not, does he take 100% of the blame for a default on the nation’s debt and lose his Speakership in January? 

Calling Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Boehner, you’re on stage in five minutes (give or take 48 hours).

Go ahead, Mr. Boehner, get this done and remain Speaker and you will have earned the admiration of your policial skills by The Dismal Political Economist.  But just until September 30, because you know what is coming October 1.


  1. actually no we don't know what is happening Oct 1. you just keep teasing us about it

  2. John,

    You are right. I will have an explanation just as soon as I recover from the current debacle and am able to address the coming debacle.