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“Dems Won’t Be Boehner’s Cavalry”: Unlikely To Save House Speaker John Boehner From A Conservative Revolt

House Speaker John Boehner could face a leadership challenge this fall, especially if he cuts a deal with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats to circumvent or end a government shutdown. So would Democrats ride to his rescue – vote to keep him in the speakership if enough Republicans deserted him that he was denied a majority of votes in a speaker’s race?

He shouldn’t count on a strange bedfellows twist to save his job, one key Democratic lawmaker said this morning. “I cannot say that he can count on the support of Democrats,” Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee said at a press breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor. “My view is that the Republican caucus is going to have to make its own decisions. I would have to think long and hard about [voting for Boehner], but my view is that the Republican caucus should find its leader. … I really think that those decisions should be ultimately left to the Republican caucus.”

It’s an interesting dilemma: Go with the ultimately pragmatic devil you know or let chaos reign and see if the GOP ends up giving a firebrand the speaker’s gavel – which, maybe, could help Democrats retake the House. The fact that Van Hollen said he would even consider voting for Boehner shows how weird the situation is getting.Boehner’s problem is that there are enough hard-liners in his caucus to grind everything to a halt every time they have a temper tantrum. Conservative hard-liners have rounded up signatures of more than 40 GOP House members who have vowed not to vote for any government funding that includes money for Planned Parenthood, which has recently been the subject of some deceptively edited sting videos. Either Boehner can accede to them and pass a spending bill which won’t get enacted or he can spurn them and face a challenge to his speakership. Or, arguably most likely, he can let the government shut down for a couple of days before cutting a deal with Democrats, which would still put him in the crosshairs for conservatives.

Ultimately, as Bloomberg Politics wrote yesterday, if Boehner is serious about avoiding a government shutdown (and it seems reasonable to assume that he is), he’s going to need help from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats. It’s a fair point – it was Democrats with a few score Republicans, for example, who voted to end the 2013 shutdown (which, Van Hollen noted, incurred “$24 billion in economic loss [and] 120,000 jobs not created because of the lack of additional economic activity”). That calculus is unlikely to change.

Where do things stand? Boehner and Pelosi huddled Thursday night to talk about how to avoid a shutdown. But if any progress was made, no one has told Van Hollen. “You have a speaker who … to my knowledge has not reached out to Democrats in any way to resolve this issue,” he said, adding that “it’s unfortunate that we seem to be on a rerun of a very bad movie” in terms of repeating the shutdown that occurred two years ago.

Van Hollen speculated that Boehner “is much more worried about his own speakership than he is about shutting down the government at least as of today. … We hope that will change.”

 

By: Robert Schlesinger, Managing Editor for Opinion, U.S. News & World Report, September 18,2015

 

 

 

 

September 19, 2015 - Posted by | Democrats, Government Shut Down, House Republican Caucus, John Boehner | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. The two leaders will work to avoid a shutdown. Yet, it should be noted with only a few exceptions, major legislation has passed since January, 2013 only when the Democrats joined with the non-Tea Party Republicans.

    Like

    Comment by btg5885 | September 19, 2015 | Reply


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