Chicken of the House
The latest on the manufactured crisis forced upon a nation by an insane few.
There was palpable relief last night surrounding the debt ceiling. The House had withdrawn from the process; Senate leaders had crafted a bipartisan compromise; and the twin crises appeared to be nearing their end. All the House had to do was bring the Senate measure to the floor.
This apparently won’t happen. Hopes that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) might muster the courage to lead his members in a responsible direction were dashed this morning, as House Republicans decided to reject the Senate’s bipartisan compromise and move forward with their own plan.
The House Republican’s plan was quickly dismissed by the White House and Senate Democrats, as well as…by House Republicans.
House Republican leaders scrambled Tuesday after conservatives criticized their new plan to avert default. Just two days away from the deadline, it quickly hit turbulence with lawmakers concerned about the lack of spending cuts and upfront debt reduction.
“There are sincere, deep thoughts of concern,” said Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) as he exited a closed-door Republican conference meeting Tuesday, in which leaders pitched the proposal.
The proposal dramatically ratchets down GOP demands but tacks on additional reforms to the framework that Senate leaders are close to agreement on. Like the Senate plan, it reopens and funds the government through Jan. 15, lifts the debt ceiling through Feb. 7, establishes budget conference negotiations and requires that Obamacare exchange enrollees verify their income eligibility prior to receiving any subsidies.
It adds a two-year delay of Obamacare’s medical device tax and strips subsidies for members of Congress, the President and Vice President and top administration officials. It retains financial assistance for staff buying insurance on the marketplaces.
Harry Reid called the House GOP position “a blatant attack on bipartisanship” and vowed that it “won’t pass the Senate.” Boehner is already reacting, scrounging for more GOP votes by promising to stick it to Congressional staff. National Review’s Robert Costa reports that Boehner is reversing his position that aides should be held harmless in this fight, and will agree to nix the federal government’s contribution to their health insurance as well. It could move further right still. And as before it may not pass anyhow.
Way to go, Mr. Speaker. Let your House teahadists fuck up a nation and make congressional staff earning $30,000 a year innocent victims of your inept leadership while you look for a way to salvage your miserable job. Sick.
Has their ever been a weaker and more pathetic speaker than John Boehner?