James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Is Boehner’s job at stake?

July 27, 2011

John Boehner is fighting hard to right Washington’ s finances. But is he also, in effect, fighting to keep his job?

To achieve either, the speaker  of the U.S. House of Representatives has to make the budget math work. His first bid to boost government borrowing authority and cut debt was flawed in this regard. With his debt plan already under fire from the right, a low-ball CBO score was the last thing he needed.

But the Boehner Plan still looks like the likeliest path through the debt ceiling crisis. And it is a more fiscally responsible option than the Reid Plan.

Failure would show a party divided and perhaps give Tea Party Republicans reason to oust him during the next Congress. Of course, some members of his party have doubted Boehner since they recaptured the lower chamber of Congress last November. The former boss of a small business in Ohio is too much of a deal maker, these conservatives contend, not enough of a true believer.

Skepticism among the faithful increased as Boehner took the lead in negotiating with President Barack Obama. From their perspective, Boehner has come perilously close to conceding a calamitous “grand bargain” that would crack the Tea Party wing’s anti-tax platform. (But I think he’s been acting like Reagan at Reykjavik in 1986.) And his current two-step plan to raise the debt limit is far too timid for many in his caucus. Those folks still want a Cap, Cut and Balance plan, which is the best plan out there.

And it didn’t help matters when Boehner’s $1.2 trillion spending reduction turned out to save only $850 billion over ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Just as damaging, the proposal is backloaded, cutting a mere $1 billion in 2012. Now Boehner has to quickly tweak the plan and hope he can lock down the 217 votes needed for passage. For the moment at least, his bill still looks to be the vehicle most able to pass the House for an eventual compromise with Senate Democrats and Obama.

Bottom line: if Boehner’s bill dies in the House, all bets are off. There’s no obvious plan B. Investors better hope Wall Street number crunchers are correct that the U.S. Treasury might have an extra week or so beyond Aug. 2 before a cash-flow crunch. (Team Geithner has pushed back against this notion.)

Speculation from one long-term Capitol Hill watcher: Boehner may then decide to jettison the tea party rump and cut a deal with Democrats and more moderate Republicans. Now I doubt such a scenario. But if that happens, he will have to start looking over shoulder at a rival more in sync with a caucus shiftingto the right. (Indeed, a new poll of tea party activists found expressed a desire for a new House speaker.)

Republicans think the current fiscal conflict may pale next to a coming war over taxes and spending after the 2012 presidential election. But will Boehner still be one of the generals? It may depend on the fate of the Boehner Plan.

 

Comments

Uh you have it backwards.

If Boehner’s bill is passed in the House, it is dead. Ratings agencies are lining up against it, and instead support Reid’s bill. Without support of the ratings agencies, Republicans will be getting an earful from majors and governors from all around the US, starting Thursday, insisting they support the Reid bill.

Boehner has no choice but to support the Reid bill. If he does not push to get enough Republicans behind it, the markets will crash on Monday.

You see, Republicans have already lost; it was a fait accompli from they day they decided to ride the Tea Party into power and support a strict, narrow dogma. The Tea Party support from the middle, was never about a narrow dogma, but out of frustration from a slow recovery.

Somehow, Republicans lost sight that Americans were focused not on artificial debt ceilings, but on jobs.

Posted by GRRR | Report as abusive
 

mayors, not majors.

Posted by GRRR | Report as abusive
 

Hang tough, Mr. Boehner. Obama is bluffing, big time, and he’s got NOTHING in his hand.

Posted by Elektrobahn | Report as abusive
 

Blowhard Boehner’s full of hot air, as usual. I hope he crashes and burns in this run.

Posted by gurari | Report as abusive
 

Did you notice that Boehner hasn’t been publicly
weeping tears? He only does this when he’s thinking
about himself and his rags-to-respect past.

He’s thinking about our country. He’s walking the line
between the extreme right and extreme left. What a job?!

Unfortunately, the Tea party is right in wishing for
a fast and fury-fix to fiscal problems. Boehner’s slow
way has the great huge disadvantage of being derailed at
sometime in the future.

Yet, the Tea party way will cause much grief and anger
many many people. Boehner would surely lose his job then.

This is a survive or be swallowed moment in legislative history. The Tea Party willing to sacrifice even themselves and their House leader has the revolutionary spirit that has always been alive in our country.

I’m leaning with the Tea’s ’cause maybe Cut, cap and
balance might be near-term very difficult….but the slow
bleed ending in a huge unrest like no other in history
is even harder to take

Better to give it all now, ’cause there won’t be another chance with the voters only thinking of their own selves
instead of the big picture.

I’m willing to sink with them! I’m American and I
want to stay that way. Enough of all these countries
getting their fingers into my life, my home, my family, my town!

What have people learned in their own personal lives?
Take the yucky medicine, swallow it down, endure the
immediate pain and grief….and health will rise.

The country is no different.

Posted by limapie | Report as abusive
 

I respect ‘limapie’ for not wanting the burden of “all these countries getting their fingers into my life, my home, my family, my town!” But a fast and furious fix which will effectively punish most of us by raising interest rates and prolonging the recession doesn’t sound like a fix but more like a humpty-dumpty maneuver – won’t be able to put it back together.

Posted by rhchrist | Report as abusive
 

Oboma has NOT brought CHANGE, In fact ~~ THE ONLY real THING needing CHANGE !

Was Barack Hussein Obama II.

Barack Hussein Obama II ( Who hates American Values )

Who who is A ” SELF PROCLAIMED Enemy ” ~ of responsible, Morally Conscious HARD WORKING Americans.

oBOMAS supporters KNOW~ that Barack Hussein Obama II, WILL FORCE YOU to paY THEM, out of your PockeT ….

This UN~CHANGABLE fraud, has done His VERY BEST to Inspire VIOLENCE.

THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. saying “Bring it on” To his supporters.

Oboma ~ Demands Saying “Get ready for hand-to-hand combat with your fellow Americans”

– Obama has ALSO DECLARED to his Supporters

“I want all Americans to get in each others faces!–

Obama demands !

“You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun” – Obama Cant wait to get everybody involved in some kind OF CONFRONTATION of some sort….

THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS..

Obama has ALSO DECLARED “Republicans are our enemies”-

** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”

ANGER VIOLENCE and more taxes….. THIS IS OBAMAS Change for america

/“Hit Back Twice As Hard”. He commands !

THESE ARE OBAMAS Very OWN WORDS..

*Obama on the private sector: ~~ “We talk to these folks…~ / so I know whose ass to KICK.“
OBOMA wants to KICK your ass /

Shouting THAT Republican victory would mean ~ “hand to hand combat”

HE IS EXPECTING people to kill & BE VIOLENT / for their immoral CAUSES

THIS IS WHAT HE LIVES FOR
THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS..
* Obama Tells democrats: “ I’m itching for a fight.” !

PLEASE go to reXes NEW WebsiTe ~ ! Oboma *( Just like Adolf Hitler~~ In that oBOMA~~~ Demands ! — [ THE FINAL SOLUTION – ~ For Un~Wanted Children

Barak Obama A MURDERER .~Torturing UNWANTED babys on DEATH ROE

http://obomanationinfanticide.sharepoint .com/Pages/default.aspx

OBAMA supports TAKING a little NEW BORN innocent child.. / BORN. ALIVE ~

sTabing it iN the head & SUCKs ITS BRAINS OUT.

He also demands, that a Child SURVIVING a FAILED ABORTION, Has no RIGHT to Life or medical care.

Posted by reXteryalizer | Report as abusive
 

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