Some people don’t handle pressure well. The House Majority Leader, for example, is so stressed, he’s starting to crack.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) declared Thursday that Senate Democrats would be responsible for a national default if they defeat a House plan to raise the debt limit.
Cantor starkly laid out the options: Either the Senate passes the House debt-limit legislation or the nation will likely default.
“There are two choices left,” Cantor said. “When we send this bill over, this compromise piece of legislation, [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-Nev.] can take that up, pass it, send it to the White House. We can avoid the potential consequences of going past Aug. 2 and get on with the business of this country, or it will be on Harry Reid to bear the consequences of economic damage, and I don’t want to see that.”
So, let’s summarize Cantor’s position here. The House is poised to vote on Speaker Boehner’s budget proposal this afternoon, and the outcome is still in doubt. According to Boehner, his far-right plan is worthwhile precisely because Democratic leaders “hate” it, and it isn’t the result of a bipartisan compromise or negotiations.
When the dust settles this after the vote, if it manages to get a majority, the Boehner plan will have passed despite bipartisan opposition.
Eric Cantor believes that the Senate, whose members have already announced it can’t accept this right-wing plan, must approve the House bill and that President Obama must sign it into law, or House Republicans will deliberately crash the economy by refusing to pass anything else.
This is nothing short of crazy. “Do what we demand or we’ll shoot the hostage and blame you.”
It’s amazing Cantor is even in Congress. He seems better suited for organized crime.
Fortunately, the Speaker took a less radical approach this afternoon.
Boehner did tacitly acknowledge that his plan might change, though. Pressed whether his debt limit bill is a “take it or leave it” proposition for Democrats, Boehner would only say, “we have a reasonable responsible approach, there is no reason for anyone to object to it.”
Asked whether the House would be in session this weekend, after (presumably) passing his plan, he said “sure.”
So we’ll have another round of this.
This is no small concession. If Boehner were taking the same line as Cantor, he’d repeat Cantor’s “our way or the highway” sentiment and see no need for a weekend session. The Speaker knows he can’t do this, and it’s at least mildly encouraging he didn’t draw that line in the sand today.