Boehner: Not Enough Votes For “Clean” CR, Or “Clean” Debt Ceiling Increase
Speaker of the House said this morning that there are not enough votes for either a “clean” Continuing Resolution to pass the House:
House Speaker John Boehner says there wouldn’t be enough votes to pass a “clean” continuing resolution in his chamber, though various counts have put the number of Republicans who’d be willing to join with Democrats at more than 20.
“There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR,” the Ohio Republican said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
Pressed on the vote estimates, including the 195 voting House Democrats who’ve said they would support the clean bill, Boehner insisted that negotiations are necessary.
“The American people expect in Washington when we have a crisis like this, that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation,” he said. “I told my members the other day — there may be a back room somewhere, but there’s nobody in it.”
Democrats quickly called Boehner out based in large part on media whip counts which seem to show anywhere from 20 to 24 Republicans who have said they would vote for a “clean” CR. The issue in that regard, of course, is that those pronouncements don’t mean much until a vote is actually cast, and that’s not going to happen any time soon. One indication of just how meaningless those media whip counts may be can be seen in comments today from Congressman Peter King, who has said he would support a “clean” CR, that he would not sign a Discharge Petition, which is the method that Democrats will apparently try to force a floor vote on the measure. As I’ve noted before, the moderate Republicans most likely to vote for a “clean” CR are also the ones least likely to take an action, like signing a Discharge Petition, that would undercut Boehner’s position. Additionally, it’s not at all certain that the Republicans who’ve spoken positively about a “Clean” CR would put their own necks on the line unless there were substantially more members of their own caucus backing them up. So, to some degree, this is largely an academic debate.
In the same program, Boehner also said that a no conditions increase in the debt ceiling would also not pass the House:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday that the House will not pass a clean increase of the nation’s debt limit later this month, and reiterated his call for President Obama to negotiate over the matter.
“We’re not going to pass a clean debt limit increase,” Boehner said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”
Boehner said he does not “want the United States to default on its debt. But I’m not going to raise the debt limit without a serious conversation about dealing with problems that are driving the debt up. It would be irresponsible of me to do this.”
The nation will hit its borrowing authority limit on Oct. 17, according to the Treasury. President Obama has called on lawmakers to pass a clean increase and has said he won’t negotiate the matter. Boehner sought to blame Obama for putting the nation’s standing at risk.
“The nation’s credit is at risk because of the administration’s refusal to sit down and have a conversation,” Boehner said.
This one seems to be largely accurate. There have been almost no GOP defection from the leadership’s apparent plan to tie a broader deal into the debt ceiling increase, and it’s unlikely that there will be any as long as Republicans believe that they can force the Democrats to the negotiating table.