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Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) walks with House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) to a meeting with House Republicans on the
House Speaker John Boehner has many competing interests to satisfy as he tries to come up with a way to defund Obamacare, increase defense spending, cut domestic spending, and make the sequester levels of funding permanent, all without being responsible for shutting down the government. So far, it doesn't look like he's succeeding. By the end of the day Tuesday, Boehner will present a plan that attempts to fake out Senate Democrats and force any possibility of a shutdown into their court.

The plan reportedly is to pass what they're calling a "clean" continuing resolution bill for funding the government for the next three months that includes a separate House concurrent resolution to defund Obamacare. They would create a rule to govern debate on the bill that said the House wouldn't send the funding part of the bill over to the Senate until that body voted on the Obamacare defunding part of the bill. The Senate would vote down the defunding measure so they could go onto the spending bill. That would allow Republicans to declare that Senate Democrats "own" Obamacare, a threat that said Democrats can probably live with.

The proposal has gone over like a lead balloon with the far right. Club for Growth president Chris Chocola calls the proposal a "bad joke," and said "[t]rying to fool Republicans into voting to fund ObamaCare is even worse than offering a bill that deliberately funds it." Teabagger House members are also not mollified, still demanding a continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare. Eighty of them signed a letter to Boehner to that effect, and an aide told The Hill that they "are still expected to vote against any continuing resolution that does not defund ObamaCare."

But the Obamacare defunding might just be a sideshow for Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who have their eye on another prize: maintaining the sequester level of federal spending for everything but defense. Cantor told his caucus that this would be their victory, forcing the president to sign a continuing resolution that "wipes away all the increases he and congressional Democrats made while they were in charge and returns us to a pre-2008 level of discretionary spending.” Salon's Brian Beutler outlines this part of the plan Boehner and Cantor might decide to take.

The new fiscal year starts on October 1. To adhere to the debt limit deal, Congress would pass a CR appropriating $1.058 trillion — $552 billion for defense, $506 billion for non defense. Then, sequestration would automatically reduce that to an annualized rate of $967 billion.

The advantage off writing the CR this way is that if at any point Congress manages to agree on a plan to replace sequestration, discretionary spending will automatically increase to the levels agreed up on in 2011.

But GOP leaders keep hinting at writing the CR to reflect a maximum appropriation of $988 billion — the same amount the government is spending under sequestration right now.

The sequestration measure would then kick in to make the actual spending level $967 billion for the next year. The $21 billion difference between the appropriated $988 billion and the $967 billion limit would be plowed into defense spending, while cash-starved domestic programs would continue to have to function on their sequester-reduced budgets. Cute trick for Boehner, if he can pull it off. But Democrats are full aware of his plans, and are demanding a truly "clean" continuing resolution with "no funny business," according to an aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

If this is the path Boehner decides on, he also has to get it past his own Republicans, because he won't have any Democratic support. Given how devoted the extremists in his caucus are to really, truly defunding Obamacare (or at least trying to) he might not get that far, and he might have to shoulder responsibility for a shutdown fight anyway.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (29+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:50:26 AM PDT

  •  Let the Republicans go to hell, but keep the (16+ / 0-)

    Democrats from unleashing it.

    These people have no business being in government, which they clearly hate and mean to do damage to. The thing is, they do damage to The People in the process. Frankly, I think all of these people don't give a hot damn about the Citizens of the United States of America, and that includes the President.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:56:22 AM PDT

    •  I'd like (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      Democrats to present a minimum satisfactory proposal, and shut 'er down over anything less.

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:44:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They're seriously stupid enough to (7+ / 0-)

      Believe that the collapse of the government wouldn't hurt THEM.  THEY are independent, freedom loving, personal responsibility takers.  Not like the 47% (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) who will all starve because they have a 'culture of dependency'.  It just never occurs to them that the government is what keeps the lights on, and the stiffy pills coming.

      •  Seriously. I want democrats to play chicken with t (0+ / 0-)

        call their bluff. If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals!

        by daeros on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 04:41:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. If House Republicans actually worked on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare

      "jobs, jobs, jobs" with the "laser focus" that they campaigned on we would have many, many more tax payers contributing to the Federal Govt's coffers in addition to saving billions in unemployment benefits, food stamps, welfare etc...which would go a long way to help properly fund necessary programs. Instead, due to their callousness and laziness they would rather do nothing and continue to cut money to programs that benefit the neediest among us (as though they were to blaim for the Great Bush Recession and not the victims of it). They keep crying about how poor the Government is but refuse to promote any legislation that would help the situation. They work toward giving more tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations (further "starving the beast") while ignoring any opportunity to create more tax payers through gainful employment which would solve all of their self-generated problems. Gotta protect defense funding though...millions of children going hungry but look at those fighter planes that the air force doesn't even want!

      •  Starving the beast is only in your mind. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The Govt doesn't need to get US fiat from the people before it can spend US Govt fiat.  The US dollar is our national currency, we can never ever run out of it.  Progressives need to stop believing that the Govt budget works the same way as our personal budgets.  The govt doesn't need to get money or borrow money before it can spend it like you and I.  The US dollar comes from the US Govt, by way of  our constitution and congress.  Please stop believing the lies.  there is no such thing as "the Govt coffers running dry".  The deficit is too small, its as simple as that.  The private sector needs more money, specifically, working and middle class people need more money.  Suspend FICA now!  Its the most regressive tax in the nation.  Give people $1 trillion more dollars to spend or save, and the economy will come back to life in no time.

        MMT = Reality

        "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

        by Auburn Parks on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 01:46:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  damn straight (0+ / 0-)

          i'm about to buy the books on MMT and learn it

 If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals!

          by daeros on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 04:44:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I hope the progressive caucus doesn't cave. (0+ / 0-)

      I want them to vow that they're willing to go into a full default to prevent the defunding. i'm tired of it. Iceland defaulted. now look at them. I don't believe the economic wisdom anymore. If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals!

      by daeros on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 04:41:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Iceland did not default. (0+ / 0-)

        And even the privately held debt is getting paid off.

        And we're far from out of the water.  We're heavily loaded with debt, the housing fund is still a ticking time bomb, the currency restrictions are still a ticking time bomb, and we've got a Santa Claus party running the government.

        Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

        by Rei on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:34:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gee Boehner.....why not just strap on a suicide (7+ / 0-)


  •  All this in just nine days. So much damage to do, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, gchaucer2, shoeless

    so little time to do it in.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:10:17 AM PDT

  •  TeaBaggers! The gift that keeps on giving (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pilotshark, shoeless, Stude Dude

    us pain.
    But if they are the detonator of the GOP's fission, stand back and watch the fireworks!

    “[t]rying to fool Republicans into voting to fund ObamaCare..."

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:23:02 AM PDT

  •  Can't we drop them in Syria (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GrindtheHills, orlbucfan, shoeless, ferg

    And let them battle it out with the locals?

  •  It's kinda funny watching them flail away. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vtgal, Pilotshark, shoeless, Gordon20024

    Doesn't do the rest of the country much good, but hey, at least they can't hurt much more if they can't agree.

    It's interesting that in a republican run House, its the Democrats who manage to get the important stuff passed.

    •  The repubs aren't interested in governing. (0+ / 0-)

      They just want to be in charge, to be able to award contracts to their contributors.

      a truly "clean" continuing resolution with "no funny business.
      From Allhatnocattle.

       photo Republican-Elephant_zps26b839b6.jpg

      What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce. Mark Twain

      by Gordon20024 on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 10:50:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can these guys really be that stupid? (6+ / 0-)

    We are 3 1/2 months from full-blown ACA (well, except for all of the exemptions that have been granted)

    Three weeks before the exchanges become available.

    There is no time to stop this train.  Worse, stopping the train now would derail a whole lot more than ACA.

    Before very long, most Americans will have up close and personal experience with ACA and its provisions.  They will be happy or they will be unhappy.

    Going primeval now is needless risk.

    If people are happy, they show themselves to be defiantly wrong and opposed to something lots of people like.
    If people are unhappy, there's still plenty of time before the 2014 elections, let alone 2016.

    Is it that hard to say something like "We have severe misgivings about this law, but it's happening and we sincerely hope that it works well enough to avoid hurting millions of Americans."

    So non-committal. So safe, yet leaving lots of attack room if things explode without looking like complete idiots if things go reasonably well.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:47:41 AM PDT

  •  When did Eric Cantor die? (4+ / 0-)

    And why is he still walking around in broad daylight?

    The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

    by shoeless on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:49:11 AM PDT

  •  "many competing interests to satisfy" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catnap1972, shoeless, dannyboy1

    So Boner will just shrug it off and go have a drink.

    •  you can't please everyone (0+ / 0-)

      thank GOD If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals!

      by daeros on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 04:49:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  $552 billion for defense (8+ / 0-)

    The mind boggles. And we aren't even fighting any wars, technically, and we're withdrawing from Afghanistan. God knows what actually fighting someone would cost. Has anyone (especially, any Republican) given thought to the idea that we can't actually afford our military-industrial complex anymore, and maybe ought to scale down some of our imperial ambitions?

    •  the figures make me, well, your user name says it! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Here is what gets me about defense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A basic E-1, freshly minted, makes more than other semi-skilled labor, like hotel services, who not only get minimum wage but also have to pay for uniforms and the like out of it.  And unlike these hard working civilians, taxpayers fund huge amounts for luxury housing, on the order of $900 a month at some bases.

      Add to that a billion for subsidized cookies and ice cream, that was supposed to cut with the sequester, but was considered too essential, and the waste is clearly excessive and rampant.  Free ice cream for the troops, but let the children starve.  Even those that fanatically cry 'support the troops' should see the error in this.  It is so excessive that the alleged tax hating tea party should be crying out the third amendment.

      I actually think that sequestration could have been a beneficial thing as it would allow us to look at spending and consider what we might find that is wasteful, because, frankly, there are programs that are merely gratuitous or duplication.  Ron Paul's million dollar video game room for the troops.  The subsidizing of cheese research so that americans can become fatter.  Free cookies and ice cream so the troops can become fatter.  But I knew that the conservatives would be unwilling to make any concessions in the military, mostly because conservatives live in constant fear of some darker person killing them.

  •  Boehner is a weak 'leader' (0+ / 0-)

    He is so afraid of the tea party.  However, what makes Boehner dangerous is his impotence.  We could veer into a shutdown simply because he is stuck in 'flight or flight' mode.  What Boehner really wants (other than to go away to a bar and drink) is for the status quo to continue for another year and let the GOP primaries end and then cut a deal.

    Democrats will not likely allow sequester level spending for next year, especially with inflation moving a little bit upwards.

    What the two sides may agree is to set a higher level of spending for next year at a % increase above sequester levels.

    I want a full repeal of the sequester.  It's a stupid idea.  I would like to see Obama get his grand bargain in.  I think the tradeoff of some medicare cuts and some COLA in social security in exchange for investments in domestic programs is one we can accept and will end these fruitless budget wars.

    Global Shakedown - Alternative rock with something to say. Check out their latest release, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and other major online music sites. Visit

    by khyber900 on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:58:59 AM PDT

  •  Republicans cannot govern ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... because all they really want to do is rule.

  •  I think that last point is key (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    They will need to do all of this with only GOP votes and I dont know if they can do that.

    House Dems have leverage, in that, if Boehner needs their votes, they can get something in return, most likely some easing of the domestic sequester cuts.

  •  I feel like I'm living in a bad dream. The (0+ / 0-)

    R's and the D's are fighting about some $50 billion a year in spending.  What an absolute disgrace!  What, are we going to run out of our own goddamn national fiat?  What do the R's think they are even saving that $50 billion in fiat for anyway?  If the Govt gives the private sector $50 billion less in free money, is that really going to help the economy.  As if there is just so much fiat being spent around here that we have full employment and resource utilization?  Is our economy running so hot right now that $50 billion more is going to somehow drive up inflation?  Seriously, I am just so confused by this crazy obsession with either saving fiat like its going to run out, as if you can run out of a unit of measurement, "sorry boys, but we're all out of inches here, we cant measure the length of that!"  

    The Dems are hardly any better however, they think that we must first get fiat from rich folks other wise we just cant afford to help the middle and working classes.  "sorry folks, but we'd sure love to give you some inches, but those mean rich folks just refuse to share!"

    MMT = Reality

    "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

    by Auburn Parks on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 10:38:31 AM PDT

  •  We're NUMBER ONE! We're NUMBER ONE! (0+ / 0-)

    "Republican Leadership" - fighting for the top spot on the list of most perfect oxymoron.

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