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Hullabaloo


Thursday, October 10, 2013

 
Ryan's Hope

by digby

Robert Costa is probably the best political reporter with sources inside the GOP. He just reported this out:
According to my sources, the House is poised to pass a six-week extension of the debt ceiling. One member of the leadership team says he’s “increasingly optimistic” that when the bill comes to the floor in the coming days, it’ll have significant Republican support. The ease of passage, he adds, can mostly be credited to Paul Ryan, the budget committee chairman, who has played a major, but low-key role in the GOP’s internal deliberations.

For weeks, instead of getting heavily involved in the shutdown talks, Ryan has worked on the edges, focusing on Ways and Means Committee meetings and floor huddles. During these sessions, he has urged his colleagues to support his push for broader fiscal talks, even if they were uncomfortable with tabling parts of their Obamacare agenda. Initially, it wasn’t an easy sell, but eventually many conservatives began to buy in. They didn’t like Ryan’s pitch, which asked them to lower certain expectations during divided government, but they slowly agreed with him that their dug-in position was unlikely to yield much.

By earlier this week, Ryan’s allies tell me a group of nearly 150 House Republicans had confided to Ryan or the leadership that they were coming around on the debt ceiling; if he’d lead talks on tax reform and entitlement reform, they’d give him the leadership their blessing. After weeks of seeing a debt-ceiling standoff as the only “conservative option,” Ryan had quietly ushered them away from that strategy and toward a longer endgame. His Wall Street Journal op-ed gave his cause even more momentum.

That factor was an important one this morning when Speaker John Boehner unveiled his plan for a six-week extension. Ryan’s dogged, behind-the-scenes efforts, plus a shift by conservative groups to fight chiefly on the continuing resolution, created an atmosphere of acceptance for Boehner’s proposal. Ryan had made Boehner’s plan palatable, days before it was floated.
We don't know what's going to happen, obviously. The meeting between the GOP leaders and the White House just ended with reports that the WH told them no dice unless they open the government first. The White House put out this statement:


The NY Times says the president told them to take a hike.  But it also writes this:

Despite the president’s decision, the House Republican offer represented a significant breakthrough. Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, said Republicans were now willing to go to formal negotiations with Senate Democrats over a long-term, comprehensive budget framework, a move Republicans have resisted since April. And while House Republicans are divided over even a short-term increase in the debt ceiling, Representative Tim Griffin, Republican of Arkansas, said the proposal would pass with Republican and Democratic votes.
Robert Costa reports that the GOP sees it going down like this:
Costa also tweeted that the GOP thinks the White House said no because they don't think the GOP can muster the votes. Obviously, the Republicans think they can. And then they think the ball is in the Democrats' court to temporarily raise the debt ceiling  --- or let the country go into default.

Isn't this fun?

Update:
Ok, things are looking a little bit more clear.  I'm not sure where the NY Times got its info but apparently, it wasn't exactly .... right.  Anyway, here's JOnathan Strong's reports from the GOP side:

A group of key House Republicans came out of a meeting with President Obama, Vice President Biden and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew saying aides to both parties would begin negotiations this evening over a CR to end the government shutdown.

“The president didn’t say yes, didn’t say no. We’re continuing to negotiate this evening,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan told reporters.

Speaker John Boehner presented Obama the plan he announced to the conference this morning for a short-term debt ceiling increase to allow time for budget negotiations.

But Obama and White House officials objected over the need to first pass a bill to open the government.

“I think it’s clear that he would like to have the shut down stopped, and that would require a CR. And we’re trying to find out what he would insist upon in a CR and what we would insist upon in a CR,” said Hal Rogers, chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Leadership and appropriations committee staffers will begin the talks this evening, but it’s unclear whether the talks, over the continuing resolution, will include negotiations over reforms to Obamacare.

The health care law was not discussed “in any substantive way. It was mentioned a couple of times,” Rogers said.

I'm going to guess that the leadership is whispering in the tea partiers ears that Obamacare will definitely be on the agenda when they get down to these "talks." But it's just a guess.

But it looks to me as if we might just get a temporary reprieve on the debt limit and reopen the government. And then they'll get down to some serious horse-trading in the lead up to the next debt ceiling vote. Which will be totally unrelated to the debt ceiling, needless to say...

Keep in mind that the current CR, if it ever gets passed, will expire in 6 weeks as well. I'd guess the president would like to see that sword of Damocles lifted. (Perhaps an agreement to let it run for a year? Unfortunately, that would likely be at these hideous sequester levels ...)


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