Boehner: Not Enough Votes For “Clean” CR, Or “Clean” Debt Ceiling Increase

Speaker Boehner sends a signal that there won't be a quick resolution to the government shutdown crisis.

Boehner

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.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    So Mr. Boehner, allow that full house vote. And then if it fails, adjust the clean CR minimally, for passage.

  2. Tillman says:

    Is Boehner seriously attempting to pass off the shutdown/possible default as the inability of Democrats to have a conversation?

    He’s really banking on the stupidity of the American public, isn’t he? Democrats are possibly the chattiest mofos on the planet.

  3. steve says:

    Have a vote. Prove it.

    Steve

  4. michael reynolds says:

    What a pitiful creature Boehner is. Nancy Pelosi would have gotten the votes. Every Speaker ever would have gotten the votes. He’s the classic example of a guy who wants to “Be” rather than “Do.”

  5. Mark Ivey says:

    Making Newt look like a good House Speaker………………..

  6. jib10 says:

    @steve: Exactly, prove it. Bring the CR to the floor, let members do what they will, amend, debate, etc. And then get everyone on record where they stand.

    He is saying this because he knows that belief that the CR would pass in the house has damaged and weakened the repubs position. The only chance the repubs have of getting anything out of the dems is to prove that the CR can not pass the house. And there is only one way to do that, vote!

  7. Rafer Janders says:

    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.”

    Similarly, I’m not going to pay my credit card bill to the bank without a serious conversation about dealing with the problems that are driving my credit card debt up. It would be irresponsible for me to pay the bills I’ve already incurred without this.

    I also don’t imagine that this is going to cause the bank to cut my credit limit or even to revoke my credit card, because they’ll rightly see this not as me stiffing them, but as a welcome sign that I’m starting to think about my debt to them.

  8. Rafer Janders says:

    So why isn’t the headline on this post “Boehner Lies About Not Enough Votes for Clean CR Bill”? Because that would actually be an accurate description of what’s going on?

  9. al-Ameda says:

    John Boehner is truly pathetic. His weakness and lack of pride is nearly Shakesperian given his position and his increasingly apparent irrelevance. The weakest Speaker of the House in memory.

  10. mantis says:

    He’s lying, as usual. If the votes weren’t there he would call a vote to prove it. There would only be a benefit to him in doing so. He doesn’t call the vote because there are enough votes to pass it, and if it passed he would be blamed by the tea partiers who are hellbent on wrecking the economy unless their list of demands are met.

  11. anjin-san says:

    Sounds like he got his marching orders from Cantor and Cruz.

  12. becca says:

    The shutdown will be a fond memory when we default.

  13. Rafer Janders says:

    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.”

    But analysts say that freezing the debt ceiling would have little immediate effect on debt levels. “While debates surrounding the debt limit may raise awareness about the federal government’s current debt trajectory and may also provide Congress with an opportunity to debate the fiscal policy decisions driving that trajectory, the ability to have an immediate effect on debt levels is limited,” the Government Accountability Office reported. “This is because the debt reflects previously enacted tax and spending policies.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/us/politics/28default.html?ref=nationaldebtus

  14. David M says:

    There may not be enough votes to pass a clean CR, but the vote should be held anyway. The moderate GOP members are trying to escape the blame by telling their constituents they support a clean CR, and we need to find out if they are lying and Boehner is right.

  15. Smooth Jazz says:

    @al-Ameda:

    “John Boehner is truly pathetic. His weakness and lack of pride is nearly Shakesperian given his position and his increasingly apparent irrelevance. The weakest Speaker of the House in memory.”

    Barack Obama is truly pathetic. His weakness and lack of pride is nearly Shakesperian given his position and his increasingly apparent irrelevance. The weakest President in memory.

    To top it all off, judging by the first week, his ObamaCare train wreck appears to be turning into the biggest boondoggle in history. The software doesn’t appear to even work, and I’m not talking about glitchy webs sites. I’m referring to the back end infrastructure of interrelated software & middleware required to get this thing to accurately flush out premium pricing, co pay amounts, and deductibles. And that doesn’t includes the sticker shock that tons of citizens whose insurance policy have been canceled have been complaining about on the ObamaCare Facebook page – Citizens who were told repeatedly by Obama “If you like your plan, you can keep it”.

    No wonder no Gov’t official is willing to offer up even a preliminary estimate of how many people have signed up for this, even as insurance companies concede barely a “trickle” have signed up. Which doesn’t even factor in the 1 in 100 apps that have been submitted to insurance companies with incomplete and/or incorrect data.This thing DOESN’T WORK and WILL NOT WORK without major changes. The disastrous rollout has validated all the reasons why the Repubs have said to delay this: ObamaCare is not ready. When even sympathetic states with Dem Governors who embraced this early like CT & MA are having issues, you know this thing is imploding.

    Obama can talk about not negotiating all he wants. If his ObamaCare monstosity doesn’t improve soon, the people will negotiate for him.

  16. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Governors who embraced this early like CT & MA are having issues, you know this thing is imploding.”

    CORRECTION: Governors who embraced this early like CT & MA are having issues, you know this thing is imploding.

    SHOULD READ: Governors who embraced this early like CT & MD are having issues, you know this thing is imploding.

  17. john personna says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Are you willing to negotiate?

    What advancements are you offering the progessives?

  18. David in KC says:

    If the Republicans were interested in actually negotiating a budget, they would have sent the two budget bills to conference and actually negotiate. They’ve had 6 months to do this. They are holding the country hostage because they lost the election for President, didn’t take the Senate and lost seats in the House. Also, as has been mentioned above, if a clean CR couldn’t pass the House, the Speaker would have had that vote already, showing that it couldn’t pass.

    The Republicans are only interested in negotiating when they have a gun to the economy, not actually sitting down and working out a deal based on the relative strengths of the ideas and the political strength of the parties. When you have 1 half of 1 third of government, you can only get so much of your agenda. Right now, they already have reduced spending levels from sequestration, now they want more and the only way to get more is to threaten economic disaster.

    This is no way to govern.

  19. al-Ameda says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Obama can talk about not negotiating all he wants. If his ObamaCare monstosity doesn’t improve soon, the people will negotiate for him.

    President Obama is not discussing compromise at all, because it is Republicans who are NOT the least bit interested in compromise. Republicans are now saying, ‘put an end to ACA and we’ll talk.’ Republicans are unfit to govern.

  20. becca says:

    @Rafer Janders: @Rafer Janders: I read words to that effect during the LAST time the GOP threatened this all the way back in 2012.

    An actual default may not happen, but, as a governing strategy, this is not only de-stabilizing us, but the world.

  21. john personna says:

    @this:

    Dear downvoter, in any negotiation you offer things the other guy wants in exchange for things you want.

    If you offer the other guy nothing, or worse “it’s just a guestion of how much we take,” that is not negotiation.

  22. Matt Bernius says:

    The weakest critique of the ACA roll out is the current “no one’s signed up” meme that is circulating.

    First, given that this is a somewhat complex decision, it makes sense that people are currently in an information shopping phase. Hell, every time I’ve switched jobs, its taken me time to figure out which health plan and options is right for me. Why should we expect this would be any different.

    Beyond that, the enrollment deadline for initial coverage is December 15th — two and a half months away.

    Supposing that a majority of participants will have signed up within the first week is as foolish and ungrounded as expecting the majority of Americans will get their Federal Taxes in during the first week of January.

  23. anjin-san says:

    this is not only de-stabilizing us, but the world.

    I wonder if the right wing rocket scientist have asked themselves what the consequences will be when investors around the world no longer regard US T Bills as such a wise investment.

  24. michael reynolds says:

    I checked and it looks as if Obamacare will save me thousands of dollars a year. Thousands. As much as seven of those, with a lot more security.

    But this is NOT about Obamacare. Obamacare is just a placeholder. It’s not why goobers living in the middle of nowhere are all up in arms. Health care has nothing to do with what’s going on.

  25. David M says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    OK, here’s a compromise for you. Complete repeal of Obamacare in exchange for a single payer health care system for everyone and a carbon tax. No more Obamacare and a lower deficit, seems perfect for the GOP.

    Oh, I almost forgot to mention, why won’t you compromise?

  26. Gustopher says:

    Orange man is bluffing.

  27. rudderpedals says:

    All hat, no cattle.

  28. An Interested Party says:

    The weakest President in memory.

    That’s funny coming from the weakest prognosticator ever…has anything that Smooth Jazz predicted ever actually happened…

  29. rudderpedals says:

    I don’t see it. Recent memory includes Gerry Ford, Poppy Bush, and Kenny G.