Some people just don’t know when to quit. Despite being told by many pundits and more than a few of their Senate colleagues that their obsession over defunding Obamacare could cost them control of the House in next year’s midterms, both John Boehner and Eric Cantor – AKA Frick and Frack – have devised plans to do just that.
Boehner’s plan calls for the House to pass a “clean” three month continuing resolution that includes a concurrent resolution to defund Obamacare, which apparently is non-binding, since, according to the AP, both bills would be “decoupled when they were sent to the Senate.” The concurrent resolution would obviously be voted down, while the spending bill would pass, thus allowing House Republicans to claim that Senate Democrats “own” Obamacare.
Cantor’s plan is somewhat more imaginative. It calls for a one year delay in implementing the healthcare law in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Cantor actually had the cojones to announce the “strategy” during a conference with House Republicans.
Suffice to say both plans were not well received by the inmates in the asylum. Simply put, neither Boehner nor Cantor have the votes to pass their little schemes. At most the whip count comes to 200 votes, 18 shy of the majority needed to pass.
Clearly the natives are restless and are itching for a showdown, regardless of the costs to the country. And that puts Boehner into a bit of a bind. On the one hand, if he caves into the extreme flank of his caucus, which at present is running the House majority, then he becomes the first Speaker since Newt Gingrich to preside over a government shutdown; on the other hand if he simply brings a clean spending bill to the floor, which would have the support of Democrats and probably enough Republicans to get through, then he averts a catastrophe, but ostensibly he’s finished as Speaker.
Knowing Boehner, I wouldn’t count on him putting country before party. In two and a half years, the man has shown no sign of having a spine. I sincerely doubt he’s capable of growing one in two and a half weeks.