In the long reign of House Speaker John Boehner, we are forever, it seems, oscillating between perceptions of him as some sort of legislative genius, or as Bobo the Simple-Minded, a weeping weathervane who survives by propitiating conservative demands just enough to keep from losing the gavel.
At the moment we are at one of those inflection points, as TPM’s Sahil Kapur reports:
House Republican leaders are skating on thin ice with the government funding bill, facing stiff opposition from the left and the right that threatens passage just hours before a midnight deadline to avert a shutdown.
GOP leaders temporarily recessed the House and postponed a final vote scheduled for the afternoon, while informing members to be ready to vote.
“Leadership teams are still talking to their respective Members. A vote is still planned for this afternoon,” a House Republican leadership aide said.
Republicans long expected some opposition from their right flank due to the fact that the $1.1 trillion spending bill doesn’t block President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. What has thrown the plan into chaos is that numerous House Democrats are defecting over extraneous policy provisions that would weaken derivative trading rules on big banks and loosen campaign finance laws. The bill likely will need significant Democratic support to pass.
The Democratic opposition is being led by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), who call the bank provision a giveaway to Wall Street.
The “rule” for passage of the bill survived by two votes earlier today, but that’s more of a party-line thing. And the White House has come out for passage of the “cromnibus,” but it’s not clear at this point if they–much less congressional Democratic leaders–are whipping the sucker at all.
Hang tight for another Orange Man crisis.