Quantcast

«

»

Oct 17 2013

Republicans Cave Completely

Wednesday began with President Obama praising Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Mitch McConnell for reaching a “compromise” on the budget and the debt ceiling that really isn’t a compromise at all. In fact, it does nothing but kick the can down the road. Here’s what it does:

  • Government funded through January 15 at sequestration levels
  • Debt limit extended until February 7, subject to vote of Congressional disapproval, which Obama can veto
  • A budget conference established to come up with long-term spending plans by December 13
  • Income verification for recipients of subsidies under Obamacare’s newly-established exchanges
  • Backpay for furloughed workers

So nothing changes at all, it just delays the budget fight until January 15 and the debt limit fight until February 7. I don’t have any idea what the income verification thing means. There’s already income verification in order to qualify for subsidies in the exchanges. I know that because I just sent in my 2012 tax returns for that very purpose and it would not let me select a plan until that’s done. This “compromise” is the status quo, extended about 3 months. That’s it.

Conservative groups immediately announced their opposition to it, including the Club for Growth, Freedom Works and the Heritage Foundation. Matt Kibbe of Freedom Works showed just how delusional he is when he told the Washington Post, “This was a very winnable fight, if the Republicans had been willing to fight.” I’d love to hear him explain how it was winnable, and at what cost. In the end, the vote in the House wasn’t even close, 285-144. Which means that it’s almost a certainty that it could have ended long ago if only Boehner had the guts to bring it to the floor and deny the Tea Party.

I give credit to President Obama for sticking to his guns and not negotiating on this, but I also think that the whole thing might have been avoided if he had shown that same kind of backbone during his first term. The Republicans had good reason to think he’d fold; he’d done it several times before. Now let’s all meet back here in three months, when it happens all over again.

35 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Who Cares

    From what I’ve read the income verification was to be delayed until 2015. The expected influx of people signing up stretching the system to the point that something had to give.

  2. 2
    zippythepinhead

    One extraordinary outcome was the House vote went against the “Hastert rule” where only a minority of the majority voted in favor. The most optimistic view for the GOP is that this manufactured crisis will weaken the hold of the Tea Party and give establishment conservative a way to reassert themselves.

  3. 3
    shockwaver

    I had read somewhere that the Senate plan included a provision changing the debt ceiling vote from “Vote to Increase the Debt Ceiling” to “Vote to NOT increase the Debt Ceiling”. But I’m having trouble finding any other reference to it – is that still in this agreement? If so, then it’s a good win for the democrats – though I really wish they’d told the conservatives to STFU about sequestration and immediately restored the budget to it’s former state.

  4. 4
    Brony

    So they can’t get healthcare under the Affordable Care Act if they don’t verify their income? I’m clueless too. I was thinking that it might help the R narrative for their voters since making people prove what they are making sounds something like making folks on welfare pass drug tests.

    Also I hope this situation gives the Ds enough leverage to get rid of the sequester. I wish they never agreed to that.

  5. 5
    Jordan Genso

    One extraordinary outcome was the House vote went against the “Hastert rule” where only a minority of the majority voted in favor.

    Exactly. Every reporter now needs to ask Boehner (over and over, until he answers):
    “Does this mean you will no longer use the ‘Hastert Rule’ as an excuse in the future to not allow a vote on something?”

    All of the damage done by this whole debacle was based on Boehner’s claim that he was following the “Hastert Rule”, and in the end, it was resolved when he finally chose not to abide by that bullshit excuse. The media needs to make sure he never again gets to use that excuse without everyone laughing directly in his face.

  6. 6
    Mr Ed

    Shockwaver

    The legislation also includes a McConnell-written proposal that would allow Congress to disapprove of the debt-ceiling increase. Lawmakers will formally vote on rejecting the bump of the borrowing limit – if it passed, it could be vetoed by Obama.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/government-shutdown-debt-ceiling-default-update-98390.html#ixzz2huZZfjua

    While Republicans my not have gotten much the tea party got all the media attention it could eat

  7. 7
    Gregory in Seattle

    Like toilet paper in a rainstorm.

  8. 8
    theschwa

    “Republicans Cave Completely”
    Now they are stealing the democrats playbook! How low will they sink???

  9. 9
    dogmeat

    The Republicans had good reason to think he’d fold; he’d done it several times before. Now let’s all meet back here in three months, when it happens all over again.

    When I actually do agree with what he is trying to do, this remains one of the more annoying things about Obama. He is an absolutely terrible negotiator, he starts most negotiations with what he appears to actually want, then caves on major aspects that are generally critical to the success of the policy, and then gives even more ground prior to being attacked as a communist-socialist-fascist who is destroying the country with “his” legislation that bears almost no resemblance to what he actually had as a policy position. During his first term you could pretty much set your clock by Obama folding on issue after issue.

  10. 10
    zero6ix

    Now let’s all meet back here in three months, when it happens all over again.

    This plan will help the economy because all the news outlets can just re-run all the stories they produced during the last couple weeks. Which will be kind of good, but as we all know, sequels tend to be poorer in quality than the originals.

  11. 11
    colnago80

    Re Jordan Genso @ #5

    Exactly. Every reporter now needs to ask Boehner (over and over, until he answers):“Does this mean you will no longer use the ‘Hastert Rule’ as an excuse in the future to not allow a vote on something?”

    Surly you jest. The lamestream media asking a pertinent question? Ho, ho, ho, and need I say ha, ha, ha.

  12. 12
    Matrim

    In fact, it does nothing but kick the can down the road.

    From what I understand, that was a very deliberate decision by the Democrats, particularly Reid. Otherwise the sequester cuts would be locked in for another year and this gives them a chance to do something about it. I think the reasoning is that the Republicans will be less likely to try this again seeing how poorly it worked out for them. That seems overly optimistic to me, but I get where they are coming from.

  13. 13
    gshelley

    I haven’t seen any comparison of this to the CR that Boehner refused to put up for the vote. How does it compare with what they would have got if they’d just passed that?

  14. 14
    Modusoperandi

    I know that because I just sent in my 2012 tax returns for that very purpose and it would not let me select a plan until that’s done.

    Ah hah! So now the IRS knows how much you make! And then Obamacare will know it too! And soon Obamacare will know your medical history! Then the IRS will know it too! And the IRS will be all “Why do we care that one of his balls is noticeably bigger than the other?” And the rest of the people in the office will laugh! At your balls!

  15. 15
    Synfandel

    The US needs to do some serious overhauling of its 134-year-old constitution. The system of ‘checks and balances’ consists entirely of brakes with no gas pedals. Is it any wonder that the government comes to a halt? France and Germany are models worth looking at.

  16. 16
    Modusoperandi

    Synfandel, this is America! We shouldn’t be looking to France and Germany to make our system better! They should be looking to us to make theirs worse!

  17. 17
    Synfandel

    I meant 234-year-old constitution, of course. For some reason the spell checker didn’t catch that.

  18. 18
    matty1

    The US needs to do some serious overhauling of its 134-year-old constitution.

    Out of interest is it true Thomas Jefferson wrote that constitutions should be rewritten every generation to make sure they were still fit for purpose?

  19. 19
    Mr. Upright

    Regarding the income verification change, I heard this morning that it’s a change the Democrats want.

    I wonder if this represents a game-changing victory for the Democrats. Like most large legislation, the ACA has little holes and problems that need to be fixed. Democrats have tried to fix it all along, but Republicans would kill any attempt to fix the ACA because they wanted to repeal it, instead. The last thing they would want to do would be to make it work better.

    By agreeing to a fix the Democrats wanted, let’s hope this signals the end of attempting to kill ACA, at least until they have a Republican president and a filibuster-proof majority in Congress.

  20. 20
    caseloweraz

    Matt Kibbe of Freedom Works showed just how delusional he is when he told the Washington Post, “This was a very winnable fight, if the Republicans had been willing to fight.”

    It’s not far from there to here: “There are no Democratic troops in Washington. We have repulsed them utterly.”

  21. 21
    Doug Little

    By agreeing to a fix the Democrats wanted, let’s hope this signals the end of attempting to kill ACA, at least until they have a Republican president and a filibuster-proof majority in Congress.

    Problem is healthcare is like crack cocaine, there will be no repealing it once it catches on, hence all the kerfuffle to try and postpone it. Now whether it can be reformed by the Democrats further into what it initially should have been (single payer system with a public option) that will be where the interest lies.

  22. 22
    eric

    Conservative groups immediately announced their opposition to it

    While Republican congresscritters declared victory. So, they basically replaced “the shutdown will do us good…and it’s all Obama’s fault” with “we won this battle…and we will continue to fight it.”

    I haven’t seen any comparison of this to the CR that Boehner refused to put up for the vote. How does it compare with what they would have got if they’d just passed that?

    I don’t know exactly, but I thought at one point the WH was willing to pass the GOP Congress’ budget in exchange for no tampering with the ACA. IIRC that budget was billions of dollars less than the current one.

  23. 23
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    It’s not far from there to here: “There are no Democratic troops in Washington.

    Unfortunately.

    We have repulsed them utterly.”

    They’ve certainly had that effect on me…

  24. 24
    sharonb

    Armless and legless Treason Party Knight:

    “It’s just a flesh wound!..”

  25. 25
    Michael Heath

    One extraordinary outcome was the House vote went against the “Hastert rule” where only a minority of the majority voted in favor.

    Jordan Genso writes:

    Exactly. Every reporter now needs to ask Boehner (over and over, until he answers):
    “Does this mean you will no longer use the ‘Hastert Rule’ as an excuse in the future to not allow a vote on something?”

    Jordan, I’m surprised you ask this. This was the issue I raised in this comment post where you responded:

    . . . the House Rules Committee voted the night of Sept. 30 to change that rule for this specific bill. They added language dictating that any motion “may be offered only by the majority Leader [Rep. Eric Cantor] or his designee.” So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t.
    Cite: http://goo.gl/Fkwo9v H/T Andrew Sullivan’s blog.

    Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor both voted for the bill that passed. I’ve yet to read the mechanics on how this bill made it to the House floor for a vote last evening.

  26. 26
    exdrone

    A budget conference established to come up with long-term spending plans by December 13

    Chair: “So what new ideas do we have to kick off the conference?”
    Tea Party rep: “I move that we defund Obamacare.”

  27. 27
    eric

    Michael Heath:

    Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor both voted for the bill that passed. I’ve yet to read the mechanics on how this bill made it to the House floor for a vote last evening

    As far as I can tell, there were no mechanics. They larded it up with enough extra spending to stifle most of the complaints and then just ignored their own rule.

  28. 28
    John Casey

    The ‘Hastert Rule’ is not a rule of the House. It is simply a policy of the Republican Speaker that he won’t bring a bill to the floor for a vote unless a majority of his caucus supports it. He can choose not to follow that policy any time that he wants, and that’s what he did with respect to the end-the-shutdown vote.

  29. 29
    Michael Heath

    John Casey writes:

    The ‘Hastert Rule’ is not a rule of the House. It is simply a policy of the Republican Speaker that he won’t bring a bill to the floor for a vote unless a majority of his caucus supports it. He can choose not to follow that policy any time that he wants, and that’s what he did with respect to the end-the-shutdown vote.

    Wildly untrue. First, no one in this thread falsely claimed the Hastert Rule was a formal rule of the House, but instead the policy followed by this speaker. Perhaps that’s why you failed to quote anyone in your attempt at a rebuttal but instead has you falsely imagining you knew something no one else in this forum did. Poor form.

    Secondly as noted in my above link, the House passed H. Res. 368, which amended the House rules. Speaker Boehner was not able to, contrary to your false assertion, “. . . follow that policy [Hastert Rule] any time that he wants, and that’s what he did with respect to the end-the-shutdown vote”. Instead this resolution, a change in the rules for the subject bill, caused Speaker Boehner to lose this power you falsely claim he had here. Instead power to bring the bill to the floor was held in the hands of Majority Leader Eric Cantor (or his delegates). Here’s the actual rule: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc113/hr368_rh.xml specific to the resolution of topic.

    The only way I’m wrong on H. Res. 368 is if the House Rules Committee subsequently supplanted this rule with a subsequent one prior to the House vote two evenings ago (or made it null and void). I went looking for such news last evening and didn’t find any. Formal power to bring this vote to the floor was held by Eric Cantor, not John Boehner.

  30. 30
    democommie

    Ed:

    How DARE you and your liebertarilib commenters make cheap political points from the pain and suffering that the GOPea Party inflicted–on themselves–with their principled stand against logic.

    “Problem is healthcare is like crack cocaine,”

    And THAT is why we need it, to treat those who are addicted to it. True story!

    “They larded it up with enough extra spending to stifle most of the complaints and then just ignored their own rule…”

    Extra spending, “Pork”. Does this mean then that the GOP fell on its pork sword. I like the sound of that, “Pork sword”, it sounds sexy.

  31. 31
    Jordan Genso

    @ Michael Heath (sorry, I am mobile so my response will be short)

    I didn’t understand your comment @25, but what you wrote @29 makes more sense if I am reading it right. You are saying that it was no longer up to Speaker Boehner to decide if a bill could be voted on, because the rule change put Cantor in charge of that decision. If that is what you are saying, that Boehner relinquished his powers (and therefore responsibility), that would be something I had not considered before now.

  32. 32
    Michael Heath

    Jordan,

    My comments at both 25 and 29 are consistent. I’m surprised you didn’t consider what I wrote at 25 because per my link at 25, I was linking to a post from a couple of days ago written in direct response to you and Eric. 25 doesn’t make sense unless you read the link inserted at 25 to my comment post from the other day. That was where I noted that Eric was wrong about what Speaker Boehner could and might do because Speaker Boehner had already abdicated his formal powers to move this amendment to the floor prior to the government shutting down. That power was abdicated via H. Res 368.

  33. 33
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    Mr. Upright:

    they have a Republican president and a filibuster-proof majority in Congress.

    I literally shuddered when I read that.

    Fortunately, it’s not likely to happen in the foreseeable future.

    Democommie:

    How DARE you and your liebertarilib commenters make cheap political points from the pain and suffering that the GOPea Party inflicted–on themselves–with their principled stand against logic.

    You need to follow that up with:

    /Modusoperandi

    ;-)

  34. 34
    Jordan Genso

    Michael,

    I agree that your comments are consistent, all I am saying is that the point was not apparent @25. This is the first that I’ve seen it explicitly stated that Speaker Boehner was no longer in power. Although it was easy to reach that conclusion upon hearing about the rule change that allowed Cantor to decide if a bill would be voted on, I was too ignorant to reach that conclusion on my own.

    When I read your comment on the other article, I misunderstood your larger point when you stated:

    Not possible; that’s because House Republicans passed an amendment on this specific bill that doesn’t allow a mere House member to propose a floor vote on a clean resolution. Nor does Speaker Boehner have any power to make this happen, only Majority Leader Cantor has such power.

    I thought that your “this” (that I placed emphasis on) was only referring to eric’s suggestion:

    [Boehner should] have some more moderate conservative use some procedural trick to bring a clean bill to a vote on the house floor while he’s gone.

    I thought your point was that Boehner couldn’t have a moderate conservative bring the clean bill to a vote, I didn’t realize that you were saying Boehner himself couldn’t bring the clean bill.

    You have convinced me that my interpretation of how this whole fiasco ended is incorrect. That the “Hastert Rule” was no longer being used as an excuse by Speaker Boehner, since he abdicated his responsibilities as Speaker.

  35. 35
    Michael Heath

    Jordan Genso writes:

    . . . the “Hastert Rule” was no longer being used as an excuse by Speaker Boehner, since he abdicated his responsibilities as Speaker.

    Since I read about this rule change I’ve been thinking about the ramifications of what Boehner did. The Hastert Rule effectively does away with the role of the Speaker altogether, at least when Republicans enjoy the majority and practice it. The Speakership role seems redundant.

    I do find it ironic while entirely consistent that so many Tea Bagging Republican congressional members are applauding Boehner’s “leadership” during this crisis. They love him for abandoning his role as leader of the Congress, to a member of Congress whose role is solely partisan (Majority Leader). This is illustrative of Republicans now govern; “Fuck the country and its future; how do we advance the interests of the most loyal partisans and wingnuts in the GOP?”

    I’ve also been reminded of the incredible performance of Speaker Nancy Pelosi when it came to getting the Bush Administration’s policies passed during the financial crisis. There was perfect example on Speaker performing the duties formally delegated to the position. I watched that floor vote on CSPAN (or CNN, probably the former). It was an amazing performance and every bit as good as LBJ getting the first civil rights bill passed in the Senate as described in Robert Caro’s biography of him. Boehner fled while Pelosi led; so whose the bimbo?

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site