On To December

In a little noted development last night, 151 House Republicans voted to shut down the federal government. Fortunately, the other 91 House Republicans joined every single House Democrat in supporting a short-term continuing resolution, as did 32 Senate Republicans and all the Senate Democrats.

So once again, as is generally the case with legislation necessary to avoid catastrophe, the only reason we have avoided catastrophe is via Speaker John Boehner’s abandonment of the Hastert Rule that forbids use of Democratic votes to pass bills opposed by a majority of Republicans. I don’t think GOPers deserve a whole lot of credit for that happening, particularly since it only happened this time because Boehner agreed to resign.

Roll Call‘s Emma Dumain had a nice, bland description of what lies ahead in December:

Before Dec. 11, Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate will have to negotiate new spending levels to replace sequestration, as Obama has said he would veto any long-term spending bill that adheres to current caps. Republicans will still likely fight to strip funding from Planned Parenthood, and they might also demand leaders try to extract concessions from the White House as a condition of raising the debt limit, which must be dealt with soon.

Yeah, well, good luck with all that.

The next big fiscal battle will also be the first big test for the new GOP leadership slate, to be installed in early November after Speaker John A. Boehner officially resigns Oct. 30.

And I’m sure reasonableness in dealing with fiscal matters will be the first priority that House Republicans will demand of their leaders, right?

This whole thing is the epitome of a slow-motion riot.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.