House Republican leaders push for floor vote on budget, despite conservative …

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Cleaning the barn,’ John Boehner dumps on GOP renegades.

But not everyone is a fan of the Wisconsin Republican. Rejoice, America: With the new budget and debt deal struck by congressional leaders and the White House late Monday, the Obama-Boehner Era of Constant Arbitrary Crises is over.John Boehner’s final act before he leaves Congress is to flip a middle finger at the renegade conservatives who have made his life miserable since he became speaker of the House of Representatives.

Even though Ryan cobbled together a majority of the 30 or so House Freedom Caucus members to tentatively endorse him, there are roughly a dozen conservatives — in that group and outside it — who have indicated they don’t have Ryan’s back. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), widely expected to be elected House speaker this week, said Wednesday he will support a two-year debt and budget deal that is deeply unpopular among many of the the House Republicans he hopes to lead.

Paul Ryan as the chamber’s new speaker, milestones GOP leaders hope will transform their party’s recent chaos into calm in time for next year’s presidential and congressional campaigns. In a statement Wednesday morning, Ryan said the deal has “some good, some bad, and some ugly” but will ultimately “go a long way toward relieving the uncertainty hanging over us.” That position comes a day after he told reporters that the process that led to the deal “stinks” and pledged to handle these kinds of major fiscal negotiations in a different way. Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate were urging lawmakers to back the agreement, which would resolve fights over defense and domestic spending and federal borrowing until early 2017. If the votes go as planned — always a question mark in the current House — Boehner will end his week and his career having engineered the choice of his successor, stabilized the nation’s fiscal trajectory for the next two years and wrapped up most of the other major legislation pending in the chamber. Expectations were for House passage Wednesday and final Senate approval next week, even as hard-right conservatives and farm-state lawmakers arrayed against the deal. “That’s good news for everybody.

Ryan (R-Wis.), Boehner has made a budget deal with President Obama that will forestall any threat of a government shutdown or debt default until after a new president takes office in 2017. The new agreement will suspend the debt ceiling until March 2017 — after the next election — and set spending figures through September of that year. Boehner’s (R-Ohio) leadership was in serious trouble came in January, when 25 Republicans voted against him for his third term as speaker — the largest intra-party speaker revolt in at least 100 years. It’s a step forward,” President Barack Obama said of the deal Tuesday in Chicago. “And I hope both parties come together to pass this agreement without delay.” Among those declaring victory was departing Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who was pivotal in crafting what amounts to a valedictory legislative prize for his supporters and a whack at his conservative House nemeses.

The quarter-century House veteran serves his final day in Congress on Friday, driven into abrupt retirement by rebellious GOP hardliners who scorned his penchant for compromise with Obama and Democrats. “I have a gift for you, too,” Boehner told his House GOP colleagues at a closed-door meeting Tuesday, after they gave him a golf cart as a parting present. The dream was that he and President Obama might tackle tax reform, spending limits and even the sacred entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. He called the agreement “the best possible deal at this moment for our troops, for taxpayers and for the American people.” Without legislation, the government could lapse into an economy-jolting default next week.

After the exhausting spending and debt ceiling battles of 2011 and the 2013 government shutdown, Boehner spent the last two years relying on Democratic votes to fund the government and lift the debt limit. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who played a key role in forcing Boehner from office but had warmed in recent days to Ryan, publicly called on the next speaker to oppose the deal: “Now is the time to demonstrate real leadership by committing to ending the culture of governing by crises and to no longer allow the few to make the decisions for the many.” Once again, we are facing a hard deadline and few good options. Ryan would have to make a similar deal with the president to avoid letting the government default on its bills in the coming weeks (just as he did as budget chairman two years ago), and that would have earned him the unforgiving ire of the conservative purists who do not believe in compromising on anything. But that bid for an overarching agreement broke down in the summer of 2011, the victim of misunderstandings between the parties and resistance in the ranks of Boehner’s House majority. The Tea Party members whose numbers propelled Boehner to the third-highest position in American government five years ago—now voting en bloc under the recently certified House Freedom Caucus—were preparing to oust him if he did it again.

But Boehner remained interested in making a deal on a smaller scale, something that would at least safeguard the essential operations of the Treasury and the Pentagon and attract enough votes in both parties in both chambers to become law. They want a return to bills from members being considered, rather than approving the leadership’s bills.” One of Webster’s biggest supporters is his Florida colleague, Jolly.

Rand Paul, R-Ky., a presidential candidate, promised a filibuster, calling the package a capitulation that illustrates “why the grassroots Republicans are so angry with establishment Republicans.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., seemed ready to use procedures to limit the delay to a few days — underscoring the conservatives’ helplessness when confronted with bipartisan cooperation. Most of them have agreed to support Ryan for the speaker’s job, and the hard right does not trust Ryan’s conservative credentials, either on budget issues or on immigration.

Democrats had to bend a bit on Obamacare (large companies will not be forced to enroll employees automatically in their health plans) and on the Social Security Disability Trust Fund. They also did not get as much new domestic spending as they wanted, although they did get rough parity with the increases that defense hawks sought for the military. Approval would reduce the chance of partisan fights cascading into a federal shutdown or default, a relief to Republicans fearing such events would alienate voters. Reportedly, Ryan agreed to block immigration reform as long as Obama holds office and promised to seek broad approval from the GOP caucus before allowing other controversial bills to be brought to the House floor for a vote.

A foremost beneficiary would be Ryan, R-Wis., the 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate, who seemed certain to be nominated as speaker when House Republicans vote Wednesday. The question is whether the renegades will maintain their support when the balloting for speaker takes place Thursday if Ryan ends up supporting Boehner’s budget deal on Wednesday. Republican voters have been showing a decided preference for outsiders in the presidential nomination contest so far, largely as a reaction against veteran GOP leaders, such as Boehner. As for that budget deal, it gives Democrats increases in discretionary spending and Republicans (and plenty of Democrats!) increases in defense spending. Two of the dirtiest words among Republican voters these days are “professional politician,” and if anyone qualifies for that designation it is Paul Ryan, who has spent nearly his entire adult life in politics.

That disarmed the rebels within the House Republican ranks, who were prepared to challenge Boehner’s right to lead if he brought any more business to the floor to be passed with Democratic votes. Ryan’s promise echoed demands of the outsider-oriented conservatives who made Boehner’s life miserable because they felt he left rank-and-file lawmakers powerless.

The real battle within the GOP is not between professional politicians and a crew of yeoman farmers who set down their plows to come to the nation’s rescue, it is between conservative politicians who accept the fact that, sooner or later, the business of government needs to get done and conservative politicians who are convinced government is public enemy No. 1. Carson or somebody like that, I think that would be good,” he said. (“The congressman was just throwing out ideas,” his communications director said after the Carson comment.) As the speaker’s race evolved and likely successor Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) dropped out, Florida political blogger Frank Torres reported DeSantis is “quietly supporting” Webster. “Great things always come out of turmoil,” Clawson told constituents in an Oct. 14 video recorded by Naples Daily News. It looks as if Ryan will get his chance to straddle the chasm in the months to come, unless his doubters decide he has already jumped to the wrong side.

It’s just not the way you want to do business.” Boehner had anticipated those objections long before they were raised. “When you get a bipartisan agreement in a town that isn’t known for a lot of bipartisanship,” he said, “you’re going to see bricks flying from people who don’t like that it’s a bipartisan agreement.” Boehner had many allies in his triumphal departure. But if he supports it, he could get off to a poor start with the roughly 40 members of the Freedom Caucus, most of whom voiced support for him last week after initially backing a long-shot rival, Rep.

They long ago decided they would not allow the government to shutter itself as it did in 2013, nor to flirt with default on past obligations as in 2011. He said he thinks Webster could do a better job. “You’ve got a bunch of alpha people in here,” he told The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis and Robert Costa. “You don’t need another alpha leader.” Gohmert is one of two in the large Texas delegation who isn’t on board with Ryan. The lawmaker recently said in an interview with Newsmax TV that he’s concerned about Ryan’s record; Ryan was one of 91 Republicans who voted for a 2008 bill to essentially bail out Wall Street, for example. “[H]e was the leading proponent for the Wall Street bailout in either party and either house, and I was trying to convince people not to vote for it and he was much more persuasive getting people to get on board,” Gohmert said. So among those who should line up to thank Boehner for all this are the Republican candidates for president and Congress who will not have to be dealing with fiscal cliffs, shutdowns, defaults and other mortal threats to the nation’s financial health in the election year of 2016.

Speaking of Paul Ryan: What does he think about this deal? “Paul Ryan Silent as Permanent Political Class Cooks Up Giant Backroom Big Government Budget, Debt Ceiling Deal” is how the always-understated Breitbart news team puts it. The extra spending provided for in the agreement would be financed by a potpourri of savings including sales of millions of gallons from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, curbs on Medicare reimbursements to hospitals and doctors and tougher federal debt collection, including allowing federal agents to call people’s cell phones.

Massie has openly questioned Ryan’s commitment to the job if he’s asking for weekends off from traveling and fundraising and called Ryan’s requests to change House rules if he’s speaker “unreasonable.” “If you’ve got problems with a man today, and the man tells you, ‘Tomorrow, I’ll be a different person’ — it doesn’t happen,” the conservative leader told DeBonis. Jones, a idiosyncratic conservative who has long voted against his party, made no attempts to hide his disdain for Ryan at a House Republican meeting on Oct. 20, when he told reporters: “I didn’t know what this event was tonight.

But as the incoming speaker whom the party’s conservative wing views skeptically, Ryan is forced to say that the way the deal was crafted “stinks.” That would appear to be Ryan “blasting” Boehner—that’s the point!—but Boehner probably encouraged Ryan to “blast” him. Boehner was instrumental in persuading Ryan to give up his beloved Ways and Means Committee chair and take on the daunting challenge of running the whole House. Boehner’s reign, and the era of brinksmanship between his House and the Obama administration that has defined the last five years of dysfunction, ends with him falling on a grenade for Ryan. Few people get the opportunity to serve so highly in their political careers, and now he gets to spend his golden years playing golf and smoking cigarettes and “consulting on the side” at a going rate of something like $10 million an hour.

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