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Is The Boehner Plan DOA?

Following up on my post from this morning, the rebellion among House GOP stalwarts appears to be growing:

Flanked by conservative colleagues, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters he could not back the Boehner proposal and said it doesn’t have the votes to pass in the Republican-controlled House. In a two-step plan, Boehner is pressing for a vote on Wednesday and a second vote Thursday on a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.

“We think there are real problems with this plan,” said Jordan, who heads the Republican Study Group. He argued that the spending cuts are insufficient and expressed opposition to likely tax increases.

Added Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla.: “If I had to vote right now, my vote would be no.”

Meanwhile, in what some will characterize as a sudden turn of character,  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is telling his fellow Republicans to suck it up and do what needs to be done:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) delivered a blunt message to the Republican Conference Tuesday morning: Quit the “grumbling” and “whining” and come together to rally behind Speaker John Boehner to pass his debt ceiling plan.

Cantor’s heavy rhetoric came out in a closed session at the Capitol Hill Club as the GOP majority tried to whip up support for Boehner’s latest deficit package. Cantor summed up what he knew many Republicans were thinking as they head into another critical vote.

“The debt limit vote sucks,” he said, according to an attendee of the closed meeting. But Republicans have three options, Cantor said: risk default, pass Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) plan — which he thinks gives President Barack Obama a blank check — or “call the president’s bluff” by passing the Boehner plan, which not only cuts deeply into domestic spending but calls for a bipartisan commission to find more savings.

Cantor also announced that the House will hold a vote on a balanced budget amendment Thursday, a nod to vocal conservatives in the conference.

House Republican leaders will spend Tuesday and Wednesday cobbling together votes to pass Boehner’s plan to hike the debt ceiling by $1 trillion and cut federal spending by a greater amount. Treasury says that the nation will run out of the ability to borrow money on Aug. 2.

Boehner told reporters after the closed meeting that his proposal, which he says is the product of bipartisan negotiations, “is enough” to quell market concerns about the debt ceiling.

This last comment of Boehner’s is confusing because there’s no evidence at all that the plan he released yesterday was touched by any Democratic hands before it was released. The best I can figure is that, because the structure of the plan resembles the now long-forgotten McConnell-Reid plan, he considers it to be bipartisan even  though it really isn’t In any event, it’s hard to consider the bill bipartisan when it’s fairly clear that it will have fairly little support from House Democrats in its present form, and the White House is now saying that it will veto the bill (PDF) if it somehow makes it to the Oval Office (a threat I doubt anyone really believes). So no, this isn’t a bipartisan plan, but it’s the only one the House is looking at right now and, so far, the prospects don’t look very good.

It’s hard to believe that Cantor and Boehner will bring the bill up for a vote if they don’t think it’s going to pass, but stranger things have happened. If it doesn’t pass, though, then I’m not sure where that leaves things. There’s very little time left for negotiation, and very little sign that anyone wants to negotiate. This isn’t looking good.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Stan25 says:

    Well it is all moot now.. Dingy Harry announced about an hour ago that the new Boehner proposal is DOA. Reid won’t even consider it.

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  2. mantis says:

    There’s very little time left for negotiation, and very little sign that anyone wants to negotiate. This isn’t looking good.

    Well, they could just raise the debt ceiling. Oh wait…wrecking the economy would be a better move. Silly me.

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  3. sam says:
    Boehner told reporters after the closed meeting that his proposal, which he says is the product of bipartisan negotiations, “is enough” to quell market concerns about the debt ceiling.

    This last comment of Boehner’s is confusing

    Not at all. It was worked out by the merely insane and the batshit insane. That’s what counts as bipartisan in the Republican caucus.

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  4. hey norm says:

    Ok…so let’s play if/then.
    If it fails to pass out of the House then Boehner loses face and the world is staring at them saying what are you going to do now? Hardly a strong bargaining position in the face of a deadline. I would hope the Senate would then pass Reid’s plan and pressure the House to adopt it.
    If it does pass out of the House then the Senate will almost certainly vote it down. After showing that Boehner’s bill cannot pass, the Senate would then pass the Reid bill and pressure the House to adopt it.
    Given the democrats and enough reasonable republicans the reid bill might get out of the House – especially with deadline pressure mounting. I do not see how this plays out in any way other than the Reid bill, or a form of it, getting passed.
    But we are dealing with insane people so who knows.

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  5. Gustopher says:

    Boehner doesn’t have to votes to pass his plan in the House, so Obama’s veto threat and Reid’s announcement that it wouldn’t be taken up in the Senate are pretty much just a call for Boehner to stop wasting time.

    He either has to go Left, and get something that Democrats can stomach, or go Right, double-down on the crazy and wreck the economy, or just sit there and waste time.

    Given that the “Left” position is so far to the right now, I am baffled by the stubborness of the Tea Partiers that prevents him from grabbing that and declaring victory. I really don’t see how Reid’s proposal can be called “giving Obama a blank check”.

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  6. Boehner told reporters after the closed meeting that his proposal, which he says is the product of bipartisan negotiations, “is enough” to quell market concerns about the debt ceiling.

    It’s the birth of a new Republican myth. In coming months if anyone points down they turned down three trillion in cuts and ended up with less than one trillion, their line will be that the smaller amount of cuts was necessary to make the final bill “bipartisan”.

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