House Speaker John Boehner
Oh, my. It seems House Republican leaders really don't want their members going on the record about the Confederate flag. It didn't take long after Republicans proposed an amendment that would have overturned
Confederate flag bans in federal cemeteries and national park gift shops for their leadership to cancel a vote on the entire Interior Department appropriations bill the amendment would have been attached to:
This has been quite a whirlwind of backtracking. The Democratic amendment banning the flag in federal cemeteries and national park gift shops had been approved on a voice vote after little debate on Tuesday—something that wouldn't have happened without permission from Speaker John Boehner. Let's just say that under his leadership, not many Democratic amendments on controversial issues have gotten through the House quite that quickly. Then some pro-Confederate Republicans realized what had happened and objected, and a Republican amendment overturning the flag ban was quickly introduced, with Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), who offered the amendment, claiming it was "brought to me by leadership at request of some southern members of Republican caucus." Only then leadership canceled the vote. Did they think no one would notice a Republican pro-Confederate flag vote in the U.S. House on the day that South Carolina's legislature voted for the state's Confederate flag to come down?
"I actually think it's time for some adults here in the Congress to actually sit down and have a conversation about how to address this issue," Boehner said Thursday morning. "I do not want this to become some political football. It should not." It shouldn't be a political football—but it shouldn't be a conversation, either. The answer is clear, and was passed on that voice vote on Tuesday, and any backtracking from a ban on Confederate flags being honored in any way on United States property is an outrage.
12:32 PM PT: And that was not the end of flag debate in the House Thursday.