Report: GOP moderates preparing revolt on House floor

There’s basically nothing else to go on other than a Tweet from CNN’s Dana Bash, saying that moderate Republicans in the House are planning a revolt on the floor sometime tonight.

This could provide the cover that John Boehner needs to bring the Senate continuing resolution to the floor for a vote where all Democrats vote for it, and a handful of Republicans cross over, as happened with the last tax increase.

It would only take 18 Republicans to get the job done if no vote against a clean CR. Earlier today we’ve seen two Democrats do that, and two Republicans as well that canceled them out. It’d take 20 Republicans to pass a clean CR if that happened.

This really shows how absurd this charade has been. The House isn’t like the Senate, it only takes a majority to pass anything in the House and Speaker Boehner can bring legislation to the floor for a vote unilaterally — nobody can stop him. He hasn’t done that yet and we can only guess at the reasons why. I believed he would cave and let the CR pass on the backs of Democrats and moderate Republicans at the last minute, but my faith in that outcome soured today.

Now maybe this is what will allow that to happen.

Update 6:23p
Byron York puts the number of House Republicans that would be willing (even eager) to pass a clean funding bill for the federal government at 175 out of 223. If he’s right, that means a clean CR could pass 375-48, if Speaker Boehner would just put the fucking thing up for a vote. That’s amazing.

Update 6:33p
As has been quickly pointed out on Twitter, these “moderate” Republicans are normally considered staunch conservatives. People like Rep. Peter King, who sits firmly on the far right day in and day out. That tells you something about how far right the nutters have gone.

NBC News has also confirmed the CNN rumor of a revolt forming, shooting for tonight to avoid a shutdown.

It’s possible that this revolt is aimed at killing the next attempt to load a spending resolution with more anti-Obamacare stuff. The thinking is that if moderate Republicans join with Democrats to stop the House GOP from playing its side of ping-pong, that the leadership will give up and fund the government cleanly.

Update 6:44p
Ezra Klein makes a good point that gives you a peak into the next battle: “If House R’s had bought Boehner’s strategy and passed a clean CR in order to fight on debt ceiling their threat would’ve been credible. But if they flinch tonight and pass a clean CR rather than face a shutdown it’s hard to imagine how they credibly threaten default.”

Update 7:19p
The unclean CR passed 225-204. Republicans lost 6 votes and Dems didn’t lose any. Three people didn’t vote. It only needed eight more Republicans to fail, so apparently there are exactly six moderate Republicans in the entire House of Representatives. That should be it. The government will shut down at midnight tonight.

Update 7:49p
That was a sort of test vote, FYI. The GOP moderates didn’t show up even for that, so while there is another vote due around 8 PM EST, it’s expected to pass, and the government will shut down about four hours later.

Update 7:54p
This isn’t really an update so much as a thought. Pete King’s failed moderate revolt doesn’t bode well for his 2016 ambitions. He didn’t have a chance anyway, but now he’s way behind Ted Cruz on the ladder, who also doesn’t have a prayer. I wonder if this will keep him from even running.

Update 8:27p
The House is holding what I believe will be the final vote on federal funding before the shut down. 89-4 in favor on the GOP side, 0-78 against on the Dem side. Will update when it’s done.

Update 8:33p
There are 433 Reps because of vacancies, which I missed. Takes 217 to pass, not 218. Republicans wanting a clean CR to prevent a shutdown have found four extra votes so far, for 10 total. One Dem crossed over. An anonymous Democratic aide told Greg Sargent of the WaPo that they will strip the anti-Obamacare provisions and send a clean CR back to the House tonight, “within an hour”. This isn’t over.

Update 8:40p
Nine Democrats crossed over for some unfathomable reason, and 12 Republicans. Should land around 228-201. The unclean CR came within 11 votes of failing in the House. The Senate will take it up, clean it, and send it back within an hour, if the aide wasn’t just screwing around. The government shut down is now 198 minutes away.

The “action” should be moving from C-SPAN to C-SPAN 2 now.

Update 8:58p
Is this it?

@robertcostaNRO: Top Cruz aide –> RT @jasonsjohnson Hearing Boehner will offer clean #CR vote after Reid refuses, once again, 2 compromise.

Update 9:11p
The Senate is currently voting on the House CR amendments, like 20 minutes after the House passed them. This is going back to the House like a bullet. It’s a voice vote so no way to know the count until it’s done. Assume it’ll pass 54-46.

Update 9:27p
The Senate voted to wipe out the controversial amendments to the CR the House passed just half an hour ago. It’s right back in John Boehner’s lap. What’s next, we assume, will be Boehner bringing up the clear Senate CR for a vote.

Update 9:39p
The vote went as expected, 54-46 to “table” the recent House amendments and send the funding bill back to the House in its clean state. The Senate I think is going to enter a holding pattern of speeches until 11pm, to see what the House does next. Back to C-SPAN!

Update 10:04p
NBC News’ Chuck Todd on Twitter: “Got two GOP sources telling me House GOP could name conference Cmte members before midnight tonight to pressure Reid

That would mean a shutdown, even if Boehner ends up caving in conference. The House is currently not in session as Republicans talk strategy, the Senate is holding speeches for another 55 minutes.

Update 10:17p
That’s the new GOP plan, to go to conference over the funding bill, even though Reid has said and proven he’s serious about not budging even an inch. There’s a meeting coming up at 10:30p which should be on C-SPAN live.

I’ve gone back and forth on odds all night and haven’t wanted to say anything because of that. This could all blow up or come to a quick conclusion based on a single two minute conversation. That said, it’s looking like a shutdown is now inevitable. The new question is how long will it last. It’ll either be hours and resolved by tomorrow afternoon, or more than a few days. I doubt it’ll be in between.

Update 10:29p
President Obama has just signed a stand-alone bill that will continue paying military service members during a shutdown, so that’s done. I don’t know a lot about the rules for conferences so I’m learning things as we go. Apparently Senate Majority leader Harry Reid can “reject” the conference and put the House GOP right back to where they were an hour ago. It’s not an open-ended thing where Republicans can say they are sitting at the table but Democrats won’t sit down. Possible this is a last-ditch effort before Boehner caves and brings the CR up for a vote. If that’s true, it won’t happen until after midnight and we will have a shutdown, albeit a short one.

This is precisely why I didn’t want to give odds.

Update 11:02p
I didn’t hear it, but Harry Reid reportedly said on the Senate floor that a conference is a non-starter. That probably means the Senate will strip the anti-Obamacare amendment and conference request from the bill the House will pass tonight, probably after the government shuts down, and we’ll be right back to square one. Nancy Pelosi is said to have a presser scheduled for 11:15p. I don’t know where you can find it.

Just a bit more on this. Two Democrats in the House rules committee have noted that Democrats have been trying to get House Republicans to hold a conference over the budget for six months, and Republicans have refused to even talk about it. Now they are demanding a conference with just minutes notice, less than an hour before a shut down.

Reid has said that he’s willing to go to conference still for a full 2014 budget or a clean continuing resolution. But not a tainted CR with anti-Obamacare riders.

Update 11:11p
The rules committee meeting is over. There will be a vote in the House, again, on the CR with anti-Obamacare amendments, and a request for a conference. That will happen shortly.

From Jamie Dupree: “Senate Democrats first asked for a conference on the budget resolution on April 23; GOP objected 18 times

Update 11:41p
Updates will be thin for a while. It’s going to take the House some time to debate and vote again. I’ll post when there’s news, and you can follow my political list on Twitter for where I’m getting most of this info if you’d like.

Update – Tuesday, 12:11a
It’s official, OMB has directed federal agencies to close as the federal government is shutting down. Obamacare is rolling out as planned — the federal exchange at healthcare.gov is now open and state exchanges will open by 8am. The gambit failed. Health care reform is now.

The House will vote sometime between 12:30 and 12:45, and the Senate is expected to strip the amendments and send it back just like it did earlier in the evening. I’ve heard Republicans in the House already plan to go home by 3:00-3:30 AM.

I’m still here, munching on crackers+cheese+pepperoni and I’ve got The Matrix playing on TV.

Update – Tuesday, 12:35a
The House is still fake debating the tainted CR it intends to send to the Senate. They should vote within the hour, but it won’t matter. The Senate just adjourned and everyone went home until sometime around 9am tomorrow, when it’ll take up the tainted House CR, strip it of amendments, and send it back before 9:30a. Just like it did a few hours ago. I’ll update if anything changes, but for now I guess that’s it.

Good night.

Paul Tenny

Paul Tenny

I'm not a journalist but I do it anyway. I cover elections and have interviewed television writers and producers.
Paul Tenny

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