ouse Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is betting heavily on his plan to raise the debt ceiling passing the House. That would give him political and tactical leverage in the increasingly urgent debt negotiations with the Senate Democrats and the White House. If the nation's $14.3 trillion borrowing limit isn't raised by Aug. 2, the government will run out of money to meet many of its financial obligations. Passage of Boehner's plan is hardly guaranteed, however: An uncertain number of House Republicans oppose Boehner's bill, saying it doesn't cut spending enough; almost all House Democrats oppose it; and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says it won't cut as much as Boehner promised. Will the GOP fail to pass its own plan?
Boehner's bill won't make it out of the House: The GOP's plan was "dead on arrival," even before the CBO hammered a final nail in its coffin, says Zeke Miller at Business Insider. Boehner simply doesn't have the votes, and with conservative "groups from the Club for Growth to the Heritage Foundation" opposing his plan, along with lots of Tea Party organizations, it's clear he can't pass any debt-limit increase without a significant number of Democrats.
"Why the Boehner plan won't pass"
Conservatives might pass this bill to spite Obama: Boehner has some influential conservatives lined up against him, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. But he also has a number of heavy hitters going to bat for him, the "weightiest" being Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Allen West (R-Fla.), and Eric Cantor (R-Va.). "The pitch pro-Boehnerites are making to House conservatives is, essentially, that we don't want to let the Democrats 'win'" by allowing their rival Senate bill to become law. Passing Boehner's imperfect plan would forestall an Obama victory.
"Paul Ryan: I reluctantly support Boehner's plan"
Boehner has to choose between the economy and his job: Everyone agrees "it's at least an open question whether Boehner's bill can pass the House," says Jonathan Chait at The New Republic. "I'd bet on yes, but I wouldn't bet too much." Either way, it clearly won't pass the Senate, and that puts Boehner in a tough spot: He can avert global economic calamity by passing a viable bill with the help of Democrats, or he can keep his speaker's gavel by sticking with his right flank, preventing a bipartisan deal, and cratering the economy. Yikes.
"Boehner's inability to strategically maneuver"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Attack of the invasive species
- Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- 10 things you need to know today: April 19, 2014
- How Captain America won over China
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week