Deal to Continue the Bickering Through Feb 7; Boehner Compromised; Next election, Rand Paul + Chris Christie?
Even though Republicans hold a majority in the House, Speaker John Boehner failed to muster enough votes for two proposals he floated.
Is that a sign of ineptitude, weakness, or that the House was hijacked by no-compromise Tea-partiers in a complete fool's mission?
Regardless, Senate Leaders Reached Agreement on budget deal to end the shutdown.
"This is a time for reconciliation," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of the agreement he had forged with the GOP leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. One prominent tea party lawmaker, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, said he would oppose the plan, but not seek to delay its passage.Deal to Continue the Bickering
Officials said the proposal called for the Treasury to have authority to continue borrowing through Feb. 7, and the government would reopen through Jan. 15.
Democratic Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, has signaled she will support the plan and her rank and file is expected to vote for it in overwhelming numbers.
Despite initial Republican demands for the defunding of the health care law known as Obamacare, the pending agreement makes only one modest change in the program. It requires individuals and families seeking subsidies to purchase coverage to verify their incomes before qualifying.
Boehner's inability to produce a bill that could pass his own chamber likely means he will have to let the House vote on a Senate compromise, even if that means it would pass with strong Democratic and weak GOP support. House Republican leaders have tried to avoid that scenario for fear that it would threaten their leadership, and some Republicans worried openly about that.
"Of all the damage to be done politically here, one of the greatest concerns I have is that somehow John Boehner gets compromised," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a former House member and a Boehner supporter.
"It's time to reopen the government and ensure we don't default on our debt," Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., said in a written statement. "I will not vote for poison pills that have no chance of passing the Senate or being signed into law."
Between now and January 15, expect relative calm. Then, if no agreements are made to reduce spending, we can look forward to another ridiculous round of bickering over cutbacks.
Speaker Boehner Compromised
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a former House member and a Boehner supporter, is worried that "somehow John Boehner gets compromised."
It's clear that Boehner is already compromised. The question now is whether or not Boehner loses house speakership due to his inability to lead.
Ultimately, it was clear from the beginning that Boehner would have to send a clean bill to the House, and that is exactly what is going to happen.
Boehner's "End Obamacare" proposals did not have a chance in the Senate and thus were a big waste of time and energy, with Republicans taking the blame for the shutdown.
Since no good (for Republicans) could possibly come from this bickering, the Senate finally voted to cut the losses, and perhaps Boehner's neck at the same time.
Even if Boehner survives, he is damaged goods.
Who is to Blame?
One seriously misguided soul emailed me yesterday, stating that libertarians, especially me, are to blame for this mess, and also for Mitt Romney losing the election.
In regards to soaring debt, both parties are to blame: Republicans for their ridiculous war-mongering and Democrats for entitlements. In addition, President George Bush is responsible for an irresponsible Medicare bill that added greatly to the deficit.
As for Mitt Romney losing the election, neither I nor libertarians are responsible. Toss every libertarian vote to Romney and he still loses in an electoral landslide.
Republicans themselves are to blame for nominating a hopelessly weak candidate.
Independents the Key
Many independents (of which libertarians are only a tiny component) could not support Romney's war posturing with Iran, his trade-war posturing with China, or his position on abortion.
To top it off, Obamacare and Romneycare are one and the same.
The election debacle should have been a wakeup call for Republicans, but judging from the mess Boehner made for himself and Republicans, it wasn't.
Looking Ahead to the Next Election
Hopefully Republicans will get their act together and nominate someone that independents can vote for.
How about a ticket of Senator Rand Paul and Governor Chris Christie?
Independents could vote for such a ticket, and indeed I think they would, especially if Rand Paul keeps his rhetoric under control. Christie is well liked by Democrats in New Jersey and he could make it close in similar states.
If instead, tea-partiers hijack the nomination with an extreme right-wing, pro-war, pro-gun, anti-abortion candidate, that person would likely get trounced by Hillary Clinton (assuming she wins the nomination).
But don't blame me, I am just the messenger.
Reader "CJ" writes ...
"Christie is well liked by Democrats in New Jersey". And why wouldn't they like Christie? He is pretty much a Democrat, who goes along with Obama but has a little bit of sense about budgetary matters. I'm really not even sure why he calls himself a Republican. Sometimes a politician just can't get the party of choice to support him.
My response ...
Christie is extremely anti-public-union and is despised by them. He cut spending and lowered taxes. Yet, many Democrats now like him.
Why? Because his policies improved things. I do not know his position on war-mongering but it cannot possibly be worse than Romney's.
Christie is hardly perfect (but no one else is either).
Mike "Mish" Shedlock