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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

 
Huzzah for the end of debt ceiling hostage taking. Technically anyway.

by digby

Hey the Democrats win one. Speaker Boehner allowed the clean debt limit to come to the floor and it passed. Huzzah:
In the weeks leading up to the vote, House Republican leaders floated a number of conditions to link to the debt vote, but nothing could garner enough support to pass with GOP votes alone.

"When you don't have 218 votes, you have nothing," Boehner told reporters on Tuesday. The final proposal GOP leaders floated would have tied the debt increase to a repeal of a minor cut to cost-of-living adjustments to the pensions of current working-age military retirees.
No more holding the debt ceiling hostage. Technically, anyway:
The House still approved the pension cut repeal in a separate vote, 326-90, on Tuesday
No word on when they're going to repeal the pension cuts for federal workers. Pretty sure never.

So the Republican leadership gets credit among the Villagers and the donor class for being grown-ups and marginalizing the Tea Party while still allowing their neanderthals to vote against it and delivering the goodies for their military constituency at the same time.

This guy's pretty happy with this, I'm sure:
According to participants, several House Republicans who are leaving to run for Senate seats were particularly upset with the option that Boehner’s leadership team had presented them with, particularly Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a Bronze Star Medal winner for his service in the Army infantry in Afghanistan. Cotton, who is in a neck-and-neck race with Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), is a staunch fiscal conservative who opposes raises the debt ceiling but did not want to cast a vote that would be deemed anti-military if he opposed the Boehner plan linking the military pension issue to the debt ceiling hike.
This worked out nicely for him.

So, it's all good. And sadly,in our dysfunctional system, it's probably the best we can hope for. They managed to raise the debt ceiling with time to spare, something the Democrats are happy to take credit for making happen and Republicans are happy to have voted against. And both Dems and Republicans wanted to restore the military pensions so that's a win, although it would be nice if the wholly Democratic constituency that was sacrificed in the latest budget deal was similarly spared. I knew that wouldn't happen. That will take a Democratic House majority which we are probably not going to see unless we have a landslide victory sometime before we hit 2020.

Still, it's getting a little bit less intense there on Capitol Hill around these must-pass pieces of legislation and that's a good development. The bar is so low now that we consider it a big accomplishment to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling, things that up until recently were completely uncontroversial pro-forma votes. The lunatics seem to have calmed down enough to allow themselves to win without committing political suicide. It's a big step for them.

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