In a raucous meeting in the Capitol basement Saturday morning, Boehner told his Republican colleagues that talks between the House GOP and Obama had broken down. He and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) urged members to hold firm, several said, as McConnell and Reid worked on a deal.Ryan, having the stature of having been a Vice-Presidential nominee, would have the heft to make run for the Speaker's office now that his hopes of being President are in ruins. Sneaking behind Cantor to steal the rabid GOP base out from under him seems like a shrewd move if you are preparing for a post-surrender leadership challenge.
“All eyes are now on the Senate,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
The leaders, however, began the meeting trying to prepare their troops for the likelihood that they would have to adopt a deal cut in the Senate. Both leaders explained that the White House is no longer willing to negotiate with the House, that McConnell and Reid were talking, and that a bipartisan agreement is likely to emerge that will need the House’s approval.
But instead of absorbing this painful reality, some rank-and-file Republicans grew visibly excited about the prospect of opposing such a deal, said one person in the room. This defiance was fed by Ryan, who stood up and railed against the Collins proposal, saying the House could not accept either a debt-limit bill or a government-funding measure that would delay the next fight until the new year.
According to two Republicans familiar with the exchange, Ryan argued that the House would need those deadlines as “leverage” for delaying the health-care law’s individual mandate and adding a “conscience clause” — allowing employers and insurers to opt out of birth-control coverage if they find it objectionable on moral or religious grounds — and mentioned tax and entitlement goals Ryan had focused on in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.
Ryan’s speech appeared only to further rile up the conservative wing of the GOP conference, which has been agitating the shutdown strategy to try to tear apart the health-care law.
With such fervor still rampant among House Republicans, there was bipartisan agreement in the Senate that Boehner’s House had lost its ability to approve anything that could be signed by Obama into law. Republicans decided the Senate must act first, hoping that the pressure of the Thursday debt deadline would lead to the House passing the measure even if it meant just a small collection of the GOP’s House majority joined with the Democratic minority to approve a deal.
Reporting in the Washington Post indicates a brewing resentment that Boehner, a broken man, punted the entire matter to the Senate GOP and went home to Ohio:
Most vocal in their bitterness were House Republicans, who voted midday and then left Washington until Monday, sputtering as they went that President Obama had halted talks with their leaders in favor of negotiating with Senate Republicans — and even angrier that their Senate colleagues seemed receptive to the president’s overture.Seems fitting that Boehner, House leader in name only, refused to be quoted while Paul Ryan is speaking up to the media and rallying the nutcase wing behind him.
“They’re trying to cut the House out, and trying to jam us with the Senate. We’re not going to roll over and take that,” said House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
It is a likely outcome that the Senate will send the house a clean, if not fairly clean, bill that both raises the debt ceiling and re-opens government. In that case, John Boehner, accepting the fact that his days as Speaker are clearly almost at an end, must decide what his own personal future is going to look like. That means keeping close friends with big business because there is certainly no future in the nutcase fringe hate group that is now the Republican Party. He will let that bill come to the floor and pass with Democrats and some Republicans which will effectively end his Speakership.
Sen. Lindsay Graham, who has almost zero power to rescue Boehner, said as much:
"Here's what I'm worried about a deal coming out of the Senate, that a majority of Republicans can't vote for in the House, that really does compromise Speaker Boehner's leadership," Graham said. "And after all this mess is over, do we really want to compromise John Boehner as leader of the House? I don't think so."Too late Graham. He's already finished.
"So I'm not going to vote for any plan that I don't think can get a majority of Republicans in the House, understanding that defunding Obamacare and delaying for a year is not a realistic possibility now."
And let us hope against hope that Paul Ryan mounts a leadership challenge going into the 2014 election. He's EXACTLY the guy we should if Ted Cruz, almost now universally not trusted among the GOP as a political strategist, decides to take a back seat.