The Tea Party Alliance
The House Tea Partiers just helped the Democrats vote down the continuing resolution even though Cantor and the boys got all kinds of hideous cuts in exchange for emergency disaster relief. This isn't about "the budget" to these guys, they just hate anything that helps people in need for any reason.
Now House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and his leadership team must decide whether to acquiesce to the Democrats, or to cut discretionary spending below the level provided for in this bill. Neither option is good from Boehner's perspective. Appeasing Democrats will cost him support in his caucus, further weakening his standing in his party. But bowing to his own members by cutting spending even further would violate an agreement he struck with Democrats during the debt limit fight, and poison an already sour relationship between leaders of both parties.
GOP leadership is now debating whether to seek a new, less controversial offset, to scrap the idea of offsetting altogether, or to disentangle the disaster aid from the government funding bill altogether -- to essentially admit that yoking the two together in the first place was an error. Democrats say it's plausible there's another, hypothetical offset they can live with -- the only bright line they're drawing now is that further cuts to the budget, below the level Republicans agreed to in July, are unacceptable.
I wish I believed that Boehner would choose not to violate the debt limit agreement rather than give in to his loonies, but I don't think that's a safe bet. Still, it's a good day for the American people when once more those loonies wouldn't take yes for an answer. They are very useful at times.