Robert Costa is the most GOP-wired reporter on the hill. There’s no point in giving examples, just accept what I’m saying and then listen to what he’s reporting tonight:
7:40p Member texts from Cap Hill Club basement, tells me the whole R scene is “depressing… everyone needs a drink after today”
7:45p “Boss heard Boehner will bring [Senate deal] to the floor… House action probably over.” –House GOP aide, via e-mail.
7:51p per sources, options for the House GOP are limited: accept what Reid-McConnell broker, or at last minute try for a short DL ext
I think it was always going to end this way. The House isn’t like the Senate, the Speaker can bring anything he wants to the floor for a vote and nobody can stop it. If John Boehner had brought the clean Senate CR to the floor on Sept 30, it would have passed with more than 300 votes — all Democrats and some Republicans voting for it and no government shut down.
That appears to be what’s going to happen tomorrow.
Boehner tried every trick he could think of. Republicans offered Democrats a deal: if the Senate passes a budget in 2013 (for FY2014) then the House would go to conference over it, and the GOP would raise the debt ceiling without a fight. The GOP broke that promise by refusing to go to conference with Dems over the budget all year (right up until 1-2 hours before the shut down) and obviously broke their promise on the debt ceiling.
Then Boehner tried passing spending bills one agency/project at a time, starting with TV-popular but otherwise stupid things like national parks and the World War II Memorial while programs like WIC that feed starving babies are shut down or hamstrung all across America. A couple passed, like payouts to the families of fallen soldiers, but otherwise Democrats held firm that the entire government be funded at sequestration levels which already represents a loss for Democrats and a win for Republicans.
Since then with the debt ceiling approaching, Boehner shifted tracks. Republicans abandoned repealing/defunding/delaying Obamacare and began demanding benefit cuts for Social Security and Medicare, the same thing they’ve been demanding for decades. Republicans have never had the guts to do it themselves when they are in power because they know they’d be destroyed politically, so now they are trying to make Democrats do it for them. Only unlike in 2011 when President Obama pro-actively offered Social Security cuts, he doesn’t have to get reelected again and he’s saying fuck no to that.
Republicans have had a losing hand since before this began so long as Democrats held firm.
Boehner could have ended this before it began by letting the debt ceiling increase on the backs of House Democrats and moderate House Republicans, but he’s facing a challenge from the right in 2014 that he may not win. Republicans have tough choices to make. They can pander to the base in a contest to see who’s more crazy against a true believer Tea Party candidate, and they might pull it off. But if they tell the truth about what they believe they’ll lose the primary and then a Democrat will be in a prime position to take the seat in the general election when there are more people voting that just activists.
Don’t feel bad for them. Dave Waldman put it perfectly when he said today that it’s not like a Tea Party challenger only gives you the option of losing. You can fight and try to win, and too many Republicans won’t do that.
I didn’t really explain something that needs explaining. The current deal offered by the Senate is a second-level compromise by Democrats. Democrats already gave away something when they agreed to continue the GOP’s fiscal cliff/sequestration spending cuts without a fight, and they did that right off the bat. The second Democratic concession is resetting the debt ceiling to February and the government will again run out of funding like the day after Christmas.
We get to do this all over again in January.