Boehner still scrambling

Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told his caucus to get their “asses in line.” Tonight, Boehner is telling some in his caucus to get the asses in a line to tell him how he can make them happy.

As we approach 10 p.m., the latest rumor is that Boehner is prepared to send his bill back to committee to make it more right-wing.

For hours, Boehner has been engaged in intense one-on-one meetings with Republicans in an effort to win today’s fight. Still lacking the votes at 9 p.m., Republicans were considering sending their bill back to the Rules Committee for minor tweaks to win more votes.

What kind of “tweaks”? Apparently, several far-right House Republicans believe Boehner’s plan is too generous when it comes to Pell Grants. Helping low-income students go to college is, as they see it, “welfare,” and therefore makes his bill unacceptable.

Thanks again, midterm voters. Great job.

If the bill goes back to committee, it’s likely to delay a House vote until Friday. (Take your time, guys. It’s not like there’s a looming deadline that would cause an economic disaster next week.)

Also, don’t forget, all of this is to simply get the Boehner plan through the House, so it can be promptly killed by the Senate. The Speaker knows his budget proposal will meet an unkind fate, but for the sake of his ego and his political standing, Boehner wants to make sure it’s the Senate that does the deed, not his own caucus.

No one can say with any confidence what, if anything, will happen tonight, so I’m calling it a day. Consider this an overnight open thread for those who have the patience to keep watching this fiasco unfold.