January 1, 2013

Testing John Boehner's Mettle

The agreement voted up by the Senate last night is in peril of amendment by House fiscal scolds. Brian Beutler, writing for TPM News:

“So Boehner has two real options. The first is to put the bill on the floor in a way that allows it to pass unamended, with the help of Democratic votes. There’s little doubt it could pass on a bipartisan basis that way, but if the GOP rebellion is severe enough it will force Boehner to violate the so-called Hastert rule — the GOP standard that legislation lacking support from a majority of the party should not come to the floor for a vote — and put his speakership at risk.

The second is to genuinely amend it, lose all House Democratic support, and attempt to pass it with Republican votes only. If they succeed, as Durbin indicated, it’s dead on arrival in the Senate. The House will have violated the bipartisan compromise the House tasked the Senate with striking, and dragged the country over the cliff. But it’s not even clear that an amended Senate bill could clear the House on the strength of Republican votes alone.”

At least US voters will know who to blame. Remember this moment!

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