Boehner's developing a taste for tea

Boehner's developing a taste for tea

by digby

Well, not really. We know he prefers a mellow merlot. But he's choking down the hated beverage anyway:

Instead of cutting a deal with Democrats to keep the government funded, and re-up FEMA's disaster aid fund, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is trying to build support by dangling carrots before reluctant Republicans and whacking Democrats with sticks.

As reported, about four dozen House conservatives don't support the existing government funding bill or "continuing resolution" because it does not, in their minds, slash enough money from federal programs. Democrats oppose the bill en masse because it also includes a requirement that federal disaster aid be twinned with cuts to particular federal programs, in order to offset the cost -- a highly unusual, and controversial requirement.
According to a senior GOP aide, Republican leaders want to amend the bill by cutting about $100 million from the loan guarantee program that extended funds to Solyndra.

One-hundred billion dollars is chump change compared to the $1.043 trillion bill they're debating. But this particular cut allows Republicans to crow more about Solyndra, and, as an ancillary benefit, attack any Democrat who votes against the CR as voting to protect the Solyndra slush fund (or whatever they'll call it). That could entice some House conservatives into Boehner's camp, and could even scare more Democrats into voting for the bill as well.

If it passes tonight, Senate Democrats will have to decide whether to dig in, as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has promised, or to fold. Senate Dems want more disaster aid than the House bill provides, and they don't want to help Republicans establish a precedent of using disasters as leverage to force partisan budget cuts.

The government shuts down on September 30th if they don't get this passed.

Considering how the press has been greedily slurping up all the dirt the GOP's been feeding them on Solyndra, I expect that they'll be subject to the Republican frame that the Democrats are trying to protect their buddies. And that will probably scare the Democrats.

At this point it's probably important for everyone, including me, to stop thinking that Boehner has a desire to do anything but keep his caucus together. He would rather destroy the country than work with Democrats against the Tea Party. And there's a reason for it --- the Tea Party is funded by the 4th richest men in America and they are prepared to run primaries against those who diverge from their agenda. In that sense the establishment Republicans are just as spooked by what Citizens United unleashed as anyone.

I can't imagine that this will go to the wire as it did with the debt ceiling. But the dynamic hasn't changed. You have people who are not only willing to shoot hostages, they are itching to do it. It's a problem.