The House grudgingly approved a plan on Tuesday to finance the federal government for another three weeks, but a whopping 54 Republicans broke ranks and voted against the deal. Speaker John Boehner all but conceded afterward that, since he can't count on his caucus' conservative members, he'll have to compromise with Democrats to pass a budget for the full fiscal year and avoid a government shutdown. Will Boehner give up on the big spending cuts the GOP promised the Tea Party set? (Watch a local report about Boehner's concessions)
Yes, Boehner is caving: The Speaker would have "preferred to ignore Democrats," says Steve Benen at Washington Monthly, but, "thanks to his own [divided] caucus, that's no longer an option." With the Tea Partiers refusing to budge even a little, Boehner now needs "the votes of House Democrats just to keep the government's lights on." In short, Boehner can't get anything done without giving Democrats at least some of what they want.
"Why Boehner will need Dems' help to thread the budget needle"
No, he has to stick with his own team: Democrats want Boehner to think surrender is his only option, says Jonathan Strong at The Daily Caller. But many Republicans have already defected over the temporary spending deals, saying they don't cut enough, and they'll really get mad if Boehner starts ceding ground. If Boehner wants to accomplish what he set out to do, he'll have to unite his own caucus and "take a harder line" with Democrats.
"Schumer to Boehner: Ditch the Tea Party, join us!"
Boehner loses either way: There are no good options left for Boehner, says Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo. If he "kowtows to his right flank," he's stuck with a plan the Democratic Senate will never approve, and a government shutdown he doesn't want. If he makes "significant concessions to win Democratic votes," he'll keep the government running, but "further delegitimize himself with the Tea Party base." Checkmate.
"Checkmate: No good moves for Boehner in spending fight"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- How science can help you survive scary movies
- The 7 best Halloween-themed editorial cartoons
Subscribe to the Week