Boehner Bill To Be Amended To Please Tea Party, Thus Making It Totally Irrelevant
John Boehner's debt ceiling plan is being amended. And not in a good way.
John Boehner has found a way to get his debt ceiling bill through the House of Representatives, and it involves making the bill even more irrelevant:
House Republican leaders plan to tie a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to their two-step debt-ceiling bill — a move that is turning momentum back toward Speaker John Boehner’s plan.
Several GOP conservatives had held back their support for Boehner’s bill because they wanted the balanced budget amendment provision included. It was the main point of contention in Thursday night’s talks between GOP leaders and the holdouts.
The new provision would require a vote before the debt-ceiling could be raised for a second time in February.
The approach contrasts with President Barack Obama’s calls Friday morning for a “bipartisan” approach, as Washington nears the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt limit.
“What’s clear now is that any solution to avoid default must be bipartisan,” Obama said at the White House Friday, saying the two parties “aren’t miles apart” and in “rough agreement” on plan with some modifications.
Boehner’s approach appears to be winning new support in the House; the speaker told his conference he woke up happy.
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said the balanced budget provision has flipped his vote, and he predicted it will help bring many other members onto the bill – Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) said he was a now ‘yes.’ Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said “liked what I’m hearing so far,” though he reserved final judgment until he’s seen the language.
“Let’s go vote 100 percent for this bill,” Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey, one of the last holdouts, urged his colleagues, according to a source inside a closed-door House GOP conference meeting.
“That’s the difference” Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) said, predicting the provision will secure the bill’s package.
Of course what this means is that bill is even deader on arrival in the Senate than it was before. More importantly, it shows just how irrelevant the Tea Party has made itself in this debate. Making an increase in the debt ceiling contingent on the ratification of a Constitutional Amendment is idiotic. It’s never going to happen, they know its never going to happen, I’m sure John Boehner has already told them that it’s never going to happen. This is no longer a serious bill, it is Cut. Cap, and Balance 2.0. It will pass the House, but it contributes absolutely nothing to the resolution of this crisis.
Rush Limbaugh and the dittoheads are probably happy about this (I wouldn’t know I haven’t listened to him in years) but for the most part the 25 holdouts in the House GOP have just made their entire caucus irrelevant.