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Reid: "The Speaker and I and the President have agreed on how we're going to fund the government for the next 6 months"
@jamiedupree via TweetDeck

This is going to make Speaker John Boehner's life in his extremist caucus a little harder.

House and Senate leaders reached a tentative agreement om Tuesday that would pay for federal government operations through next March, averting the prospect of a messy government shutdown just before the November elections. [...]

Under the agreement that takes the spending fight off the table before the presidential and Congressional elections, lawmakers have agreed to continue the current rate of spending into early next year despite a call by some conservative Republicans for a lower rate.

Up until just a week ago, a majority of House Republicans were calling on Boehner to shut the government down to stop any and all funding for the Affordable Care Act implementation. But leadership is bowing to reality. They know what a government shutdown would do a month before the election, even if the more teabaggy members among them maintain their delusion that they speak for America.

This move by leadership is likely to be too little too late for some less extreme Republicans who have had just about enough of the stranglehold the extremist have on leadership. Today's scheduled vote to ban late term abortions in the District of Columbia seems to be a breaking point for "moderate" Republicans.

Two of them have gone very public with their dissatisfaction. Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) abruptly announced his retirement, because he "had become increasingly disenchanted with the GOP’s hard-line position on taxes, speaking out on the need for a 'grand bargain' on the deficit and disavowing Grover Norquist’s pledge against tax increases."

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) went a lot further in expressing his discontent.

"I have to say that I’m frustrated by how much we—I mean the Republican Party—are willing to give deferential treatment to our extremes in this moment in history," he told The Post-Standard editorial board. [...]

"We render ourselves incapable of governing when all we do is take severe sides..." he said.

Not that Boehner is taking any of this criticism to heart. No, the spending agreement is all about self-preservation and knowing what a political disaster an October government shutdown would bring in November. Boehner isn't going to stop deferring to the extremes in his caucus because a handful of less crazy Republicans complain. He wouldn't be having yet another vote to ban abortion this week, when really critical work should be getting done, if he gave a shit about them.

But it's fun to see another caucus headache emerging for the worst speaker of the worst Congress ever.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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