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Will Obamacare Kill a Speakership? How the GOP’s CR Could Play Out

What exactly does happen when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

by
Bill Straub

Bio

September 20, 2013 - 3:49 pm
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The decision to impose Hastert – named after former House Speaker Denny Hastert, an Illinois Republican who informally adopted the rule during his tenure in the 1990s – has left Boehner without an escape hatch. If he sticks to the rule, the federal government is likely to be shut down. If he reverses course, his time as speaker of the House of Representatives is likely over with back-bench conservatives wailing for his ouster.

In his defense, Boehner hasn’t received a lot of help from Senate conservatives, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who have been goading lower chamber lawmakers into standing firm against Obamacare and praising them for passing a CR to kill it. Their endeavors forced Boehner, who initially opposed any confrontation that could result in a shutdown, to change course and endorse the strategy.

Now those same Senate Republicans are saying there’s little they can do to halt the Obamacare juggernaut, although they wish House Republicans the best in their continued efforts.

Cruz on Wednesday acknowledged that Reid “will no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so. At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground and continue to listen to the American people.”

In some quarters, it sounded like Cruz, Lee and others were leaving Boehner holding the bag – a bag he initially didn’t even care to hold. Stung by criticism for his curious tactics, Cruz is now promising to do everything at his disposal to kill Obamacare – including staging a talking filibuster on the floor.

But the Senate may ultimately have the 60 votes necessary to overcome delaying tactics and pass a continuing resolution similar to the House measure — sans the defunding of Obamacare.

At some point, then, Boehner will have to consider abandoning the Hastert Rule – and in all likelihood the speakership – in order to get a deal done unless he somehow convinces a majority of his caucus to go along with the Senate. Thus far during his tenure as the head of the lower chamber, Boehner hasn’t exhibited great talent for swaying wayward lawmakers unless you consider the recent vote on the agriculture appropriations bill a great triumph.

Or he can convince them to abandon the fight and take up killing Obamacare again within the next few weeks when Congress debates raising the debt limit, which could develop into yet another unstoppable force vs. immovable object showdown.

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Washington freelancer Bill Straub is former White House correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service.

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Top Rated Comments   
John Boehner is not uniquely qualified to be the Republican Speaker of the House.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
"But, but, the public wil blame the Repubs if the government is forced to shut down!"

You call it blame. I call it credit for a job well done.

It all depends on how you fight the political battle during the shutdown. If you make the case that this is what the Repubs in the House were hired to do, you'll be fine. If you make the case that this government is totally out of control and needs to be shut down as a lesson, then you'll be fine.

If you cannot sell that, if you cannot win the PR fight, then resign and let someone else do the job, you incompetent, spineless morons. Do the Right thing. Do not shy away from this fight, just because it's scary.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Conservatives are like the real mother in the old Bible story about King Soloman and the 2 women claiming to be the mother of a baby. King Soloman orders the baby to be cut in two and the real mother surrenders for the sake of preserving the baby, even if that means she loses the baby.

Well, I say you ought to be more like Keyser Soze. If the Left and RINOs keep using your love of country against you, call their bluff and offer them a match to burn it all down. THEY depend on keeping the system in place. We are just the host from which they draw blood. Killing the country isn't stopping them from doing what they are doing.

Don't let the Left & RINOs use your love of country to destroy the country you love. SHUT IT DOWN. The Leeches will starve first. What do the rest of us depend on from the govt? Not much. Besides the govt shuts down every weekend and holiday and nobody notices.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (49)
All Comments   (49)
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The Mob in Congress are DEMOCRATS, not Democratic.
Unless there has been a transformation of the term Democratic to mean "beneficial to one specific group", these Democrat Mobsters are no more democratic than nazi's.
We need a "shutdown" to show ObaMao that We CAN mess with him and his petty, selfish, little attitude.
That would be REAL DEMOCRACY IN ACTION.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Additionally:
This Democrat Mob has not stood up to their legal obligation of passing a Budget.
Where's the attempt to hold them to this lawful requirement?
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
The consensus of conservatives seems to be that everything would work out fine if only we had a more conservative Speaker. But for the decade before he took the gavel (Speakers do not typically vote except to break or make a tie), Boehner had the 8th most conservative voting record in the House according to the ACU (which sponsors CPAC).

Is it not then fair to inquire precisely which more conservative Representative could as Speaker bring us more victories, and exactly how?

"By standing up for our principles!" is not a strategy. Our principles are not shared by our fellow voters. Reagan was the last President elected standing on our principles, and that has been a while. Bush the Elder offered a "kinder, gentler" version, and Bush the Younger was all about "compassionate conservatism." The candidates for the nomination in '08 and '12 who were more conservative than the nominees lost badly.

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bill, have you ever been to Boehner's district? HA Why even ask? When did Boehner change and decide to support / let this legislation go forward? After the August recess when he visited his district. Getting a clue? Every voter he met drilled him a new one. Loud. Hard. Fast. And constantly. He realized the question is not his Speakership but his seat in Congress. His positions on the Syrian military adventure, debt ceiling, Obamacare and Amnesty are extremely unpopular in his district. Southern Ohio is an area of Tea Party strength. Last election, they primaried an establishment Republican Congressman one district over from Boehner's and won. If Boehner were to cave again on Obamacare, he would most certainly be primaried and it would cost the Republican Party tons of money for him to keep it - maybe. Boehner is too well known to pull off a slick obfuscating campaign and a campaign based on being an effective insider simply will not fly. He's got to hold his ground on this one at all costs, I believe. Or he's out the door completely.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just FYI: I covered Boehner and his district when I was the Washington correspondent for the Cincinnati Post and have been around his neighborhood numerous times. In fact, I have a son who lives in Mason.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
"....many services provided by the federal government will cease. Federal projects will be delayed, national parks will close and hundreds of thousands of government workers face temporary layoffs. The fate of Social Security checks and Veterans Administration services will be in limbo."

Horse-puckey. Not even remotely accurate.

"This time polls show the American public is poised to blame Republicans for any cessation of governmental services, basically asserting that they don’t much care for Obamacare but they don’t believe closing federal doors is worth the cost of killing it."

Only those LIVs who are basically sheeple anyway. They desrve what they get AFAIAC.

"The impasse could be easier to resolve than it looks from the outside. The fact is House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) probably already has the votes to pass a continuing resolution without killing Obamacare."

This is all Kabuki as Weepy John B. knows in his heart. The CR gets sent to the Senate, Reid re-inserts the PPACA funding and the next round goes. If the House then throws up their hands and says they had no choice but to pass to avoid a shutdown - O-the-Blamer wins. If they hold fast and the shutdown happens then once again O-the-Blamer wins.

No matter what O-the-Blamer stands up and says that the Establishment RINOs caused it all. All the filching maroon, O, can do is spread hate and dissent. That is all he has done since 2006.

I say fund PPACA fully - NOW! Sue the WH to force them to put all of it in play immediately. The American people need to see what their Feral Gov't did to them in all its stinky glory.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let me see if I have this straight. The bill passes the house and goes to the Senate where Harry Reid and his cohorts strip the language that defunds Obamacare out of it and send it back to the House. At that point the House has two choices. Either put the language back in and send it back to the Senate or approve the Senate version, Boehner breaks into tears, cries he did all he could do and tries to get enough votes in the house to pass the Senate version of the bill so those mean old Dems over there won't call him names and blame him for shutting down the Government. Does that about cover it?
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
In a Parliamentary system the Republican leadership would have taken responsibility for their failures in 2008 and 2012 and resigned. If they were the Generals in a war, and they lost as many battles as they have, they would have been fired long ago. They have no belly for the fight, they just want to go along to get along, they went Washington long ago. They are principle less political opportunists, only interested in retaining their jobs no matter the cost to the Americans they're there to serve.
All of the influence the Republican Establishment now enjoys, is owed to the TEA Party conservative base and its victories, and someday soon the TEA Party conservatives will replace the leadership, as the Republicans once replaced the Whigs.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
---- "In his defense, Boehner hasn’t received a lot of help from Senate conservatives, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who have been goading lower chamber lawmakers into standing firm against Obamacare and praising them for passing a CR to kill it."

Sounds like fantastic advice to me! Stand up on those hind legs, Johnny! Attaboy! Let the liberal Democrats shut the works down. Let THEM go down in defense of ObamaCare. You have truly put yourself in a corner, Mr. Speaker, and there is only one way out: Attack. We know that your natural impulse is to collapse into a fetal position. But you must resist that urge. You must attack Obama and the Democrats on the basis of the widely held understanding among us peons (who make this country work) that ObamaCare is the greatest threat to the American economy, and American freedom, than anything we've seen since the Civil War.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
We already know how this ends. The House will vote for a CR sent over from the Senate. If it costs Boehner his Speakership, then it will cost it.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most of us figure this is just another symbolic vote against Obamacare that will die when it hits the Senate. Whether any of the House have grown spines will be seen when and if the Senate sends a continuing resolution back to the House.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
I noticed Reid is the one who said the CR sent by the House is DEAD. Reid decided to close down government. How does it ALWAYS wind up being the House R's fault? I noticed that 50, as you say, House R's think the promise they made about Obamacare that lead to the 2010 R landslide still matters. The rest think campaign promises are made to be broken. I notice that Boehner NEVER, can find a hill to die on for his own professed positions. The guy and his followers cannot fight for anything that has a cost. On the one had they believe the country is on their side. On the other hand they believe that same country would punish them for doing the very things they got elected to do. That's some kind of sickness.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
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