Skip to main content

broken US flag
Last July, when the battle over the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling was just beginning to heat up, I offered some thoughts. I'm pleased to say that this week's vote by Congress to raise the debt ceiling brought this battle to an end in much the way I anticipated. The Republicans got nothing (exactly what Paul Ryan said they couldn't get) for raising the debt ceiling: no defunding or even any changes to Obamacare, something they were demanding as late as this month.

I argued back in July that if Democrats refused to be blackmailed either by the threat of a shutdown or a default, the people would be on their side, in no small part because President Obama had shown himself to be reasonable in the past whereas Congressional Republicans had over and over shown themselves to be unyielding extremists. I predicted that, ultimately, John Boehner would have to rely on Democratic votes to pass a budget and to raise the debt ceiling.

And that's just what happened: "The 28 members of the Republican majority who voted for the [debt ceiling] bill—a meager 12 percent—was the lowest percentage for a majority on passage since the House began publishing electronic data on votes in 1991. It has to rank among the lowest ever for a body defined by strict majority rule." Paul Ryan voted for default, something that will come back to haunt him if he, somehow, becomes the Republican nominee for president in 2016.

House Republicans were so extreme that they forced Boehner to choose between political suicide—as the American people would have overwhelmingly blamed Republicans had we defaulted—and essentially turned Congress over to Democrats, at least on this issue.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

There's another issue that's ripe for a similar kind of House vote. Last year a comprehensive immigration reform package passed the Senate with a strong bipartisan majority. Boehner recently declared that the "deeply flawed" Senate bill "has zero chance of success."

Given Boehner's dismissal of the Senate bill, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced his intention to do an end run around the Speaker, and use a discharge petitition to bring it to a vote in the House—something that requires the signatures of a majority of House members. The time has definitely come for this manuever.

Schumer's move is by no means a slam dunk. Even though he believes a majority of the House would vote yes on the Senate bill, that doesn't mean there are 17 Republicans (assuming all Democrats vote yes) who will vote to buck the Speaker as well as the Tea Party on this issue. On the other hand, not many believed that the budget/government shutdown/debt ceiling battle would come to an end with a surrender by Republicans.

House Republicans broke once. Here's hoping they do so again.

Originally posted to Ian Reifowitz on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 02:37 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, Alumbrados, TXdem, Ducktape, PLS, Bill in Portland Maine, fcvaguy, Odysseus, MadRuth, teacherken, Gator, Rolfyboy6, livosh1, Shockwave, Sherri in TX, chuco35, CleverNickName, SanJoseLady, eeff, rubyr, exNYinTX, Doctor Who, cskendrick, whenwego, gayntom, mkfarkus, sidnora, WeNeedKerry, aitchdee, Texknight, psnyder, annan, NYC Sophia, virginislandsguy, Eyesbright, Lawrence, Noodles, cosette, wdrath, Steven Payne, defluxion10, lcrp, Diana in NoVa, ybruti, randallt, Hillbilly Dem, tomjones, xxdr zombiexx, Armand451, oortdust, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, nailbender, CPT Doom, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, Tinfoil Hat, basquebob, dewtx, reflectionsv37, fixxit, eru, komogo, Ice Blue, Little Lulu, Savvy813, turdraker, bunsk, peacestpete, Ekaterin, Jim P, begone, Dolphin99, WB Reeves, golem, edwardssl, hungrycoyote, Kimball Cross, dopper0189, seefleur, koNko, ruleoflaw, AoT, KenBee, Lefty Coaster, MJ via Chicago, wild hair, twigg, Rosaura, Preston S, el cid, MBNYC, onionjim, SingerInTheChoir, Dyana, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoregon, kurt, NancyWH, Friend of the court, Aaa T Tudeattack, Sapere aude, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, peagreen, camlbacker, Dartagnan, Matt Z, Dave in Northridge, mommyof3, sfbob, millwood, Bridge Master, Wreck Smurfy, skod, TomP, Empower Ink, gizmo59, jwinIL14, rogerdaddy, mconvente, misterwade, JeffW, GAS, MikePhoenix, OleHippieChick, Tchrldy, bythesea, elwior, Fe Bongolan, skohayes, Lujane, tofumagoo, royce, pamelabrown, RandomNonviolence, pickandshovel, Jeff Y, BYw, RWN, maggiejean, Bule Betawi, greengemini, shortmama, LeftOfYou, Nebraskablue, newyorknewyork, elziax, MKSinSA, Keith Pickering, stevenwag, moviemeister76, ArthurPoet, Tortmaster, nocynicism, Railfan, Mokurai, FogCityJohn, NJpeach, kjoftherock, secret38b, Houses in Motion, mookins, Polly Syllabic, 2questions, ATFILLINOIS, JoanMar, pixxer, ItsSimpleSimon, kacemo, Egalitare, 4kedtongue, BlueFranco, kenwards, ericlewis0, stevenaxelrod, Onomastic, Maximilien Robespierre, kerflooey, bgblcklab1, slowbutsure, implicate order, Mr MadAsHell, BlueJessamine, lillyspad, deeproots, marleycat, zukesgirl64, Carolyn in Oregon, thomask, BarackStarObama, antooo, myrmecia gulosa, ratcityreprobate, SoCalSal, SteelerGrrl, leftykook, joanbrooker, dradams, Auriandra, No one gets out alive, Laurel in CA, OldDragon, anodnhajo, TheLizardKing, Chrislove, IndieGuy, a2nite, stellaluna, This old man, belinda ridgewood, Syoho, doroma, Buckeye54, New Minas, Gale Hollis, George3, Hammerhand, Panacea Paola, jusjtim35, countwebb, Linda1961, HedwigKos, leeleedee, Aunt Pat, howabout, DemInDuluth, Abby Hemani, BadKitties, ET3117, duhban, skepticalcitizen, bobwilk, Ticorules, Dodgerdog1, Capt Crunch, patbahn, Penny GC, ginimck, Urban Space Cowboy, Buddykat, SoCalSocialist, Bethesda 1971, AWilson, Shawn87

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site