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Got Gavel?

October 16th, 2013 - 6:23 am

It really is chaos on Capitol Hill:

“The clock is ticking,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 3 Republican in the Senate. “Given the consequence of what we’re talking about here, . . . I would hope that we would have genuine interest among all parties in terms of trying to get this done as quickly as possible.”

Any deal would also have to win approval in the House, where Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and his leadership team had once again lost all control of their majority. After a long day of trying with increasing desperation to cobble together a debt-limit plan that could win the support of 217 Republicans, Boehner and his top deputies gave up and abruptly canceled a scheduled vote on the measure.

On Tuesday evening, they left the Capitol without further plan or explanation.

“We are done for the night,” a weary Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said as he left a marathon session in Boehner’s office that began as an airing of complaints from rebellious conservatives and soon ballooned into a full-blown emergency session of senior lawmakers and committee chairmen.

Leaving aside who’s right or who’s wrong or what a sensible plan of action would be, a strong Speaker — a Rayburn or a Gingrich or even a Pelosi — would have a plan this close to H-Hour, and the power to whip up the votes.

Boehner just isn’t that Speaker.

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Part of the problem is that the "H" in "H-hour" stands for hysteria.

This urgency is all predicated on the fear of a default that -- regardless of what Congress does or doesn't do -- won't happen.

The default is a lie. </Portal>
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have never forgotten Tip O'Neill's solution to this issue. He had gotten together with Reagan and the Senate Republicans to throw together a budget that no one liked (especially House Republicans) but would pass. During the middle of the House debate, O'Neill stepped up to his chair, called a snap voice vote, declared the bill as passed, and walked away. It took 5 minutes for a few young-turk Republicans to figure out what had happened and call for a roll call, and the chair ignored them as out of order.

In this environment, Boehner would lose the Speaker's chair for such a trick.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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