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Hullabaloo


Saturday, September 28, 2013

 
Your move, John Boehner

by David Atkins

Really, John Boehner?

House and Senate leadership aides in both parties are increasingly convinced the federal government will close for the first time in more than 17 years on Tuesday morning.

There is still time to avoid such a climactic stalemate, the aides acknowledged. But unless there is a dramatic change in momentum, the likelihood that a partisan showdown over government funding and the future of Obamacare could lead to a shutdown has increased dramatically.

With a special closed-door meeting meeting of House Republicans set for noon Saturday, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his top lieutenants have not yet formulated their next play in their quest to keep the government open. It’s not even clear that the House will vote on Saturday.

There have been repeated contacts between GOP and Democratic leaders and senior aides in recent days but no negotiations of any sort – or sign those are about to start – to resolve the standoff. Both sides feel they have made their position known to the other side, and are unwilling to make any concessions at this moment.

Senior House GOP sources say Republicans are likely to send the Senate an amended government-funding bill, but not a proposed one-week stop gap measure. Without that one-week funding bill - needed while Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the White House try to reach a compromise agreement - the federal government will beginning shutting down “non-essential” operations on Tuesday morning.
I could spend the next several paragraphs eviscerating Politico's insultingly contrafactual "both sides do it" reporting, but it's not even worth the effort. Let's talk about John Boehner for the moment.

Until recently, the conventional wisdom was that Republicans would have their little farce, the Tea Party would fold its arms and hold its breath until it went blue, and then John Boehner would violate the Hastert rule and put something on the floor that Democrats and just enough House and Senate Republicans could vote for.

A government shutdown would mean one of two things: either there aren't even a pittance of sane Congressional Republicans left to get a reasonable bill through, or John Boehner won't violate the Hastert rule again lest it mean the end of his Speakership.

Either way it's probably time John Boehner stepped aside. If he can't avert a shutdown within his caucus, he needs to resign.


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