To the unrestrained amusement of the completely disengaged Democrats in the Senate and White House, the House Republican Leadership spent all day yesterday, indeed all week, beating the heck out of their conservative, Tea Party contingent to vote for an ineffectual debt ceiling plan from Speaker John Boehner.
There aren’t the House votes for it – as demonstrated by last night’s postponements. There aren’t the Republican votes for it – there aren’t even the five Democrat votes for it that were cast for the far, far better Cut, Cap and Balance (CCB) plan.
Why is the House Republican leadership going to such great lengths to get this far lesser plan passed? Working far harder for it than they did for CCB?
When the Boehner plan faces the same defeat as CCB in the completely unproductive Senate. A defeat with less Senate votes than CCB received.
The House has done its work. Twice – CCB and the Paul Ryan plan. It should not spend one more second contorting the arms of their own to try to pass a third, tepid alternative to the two fine plans they have already put forward.
In a sane, good world, the House leadership would first thing this morning issue the following statement. Then adjourn and go home.
“The House has passed two plans which had unified Republican support. Cut, Cap and Balance had, in fact, bipartisan support.
“We are not going to spend another second beating ourselves up to try to pass a THIRD plan – versus the Democrats’ ZERO plans.
“A third plan which has zero Democrat support in the House. A third plan that the Democrat Senate has – just as they did with Cut, Cap and Balance – preemptively said they have zero intention of working on to make it more to their liking.
“We’ve done our job. We’ve passed the only plan that actually addresses the short-term debt ceiling situation and the long-term debt problem. We have passed it with bipartisan support.
“The Democrat Senate – which hasn’t passed a budget in over 800 days and has offered no debt ceiling plan of their own – has two options.
“They can do what they should have done in the first place – debate and amend CCB to their satisfaction and send it back to the House. To where actual legislative compromise occurs – in the conference reconciliation process.
“Or they can finally pass a plan of their own, which we will happily give what they have never given any of ours – serious, sober consideration.
“But we as Republicans are through beating each other up in yet another round of negotiating with ourselves. In yet another attempt to satisfy a non-participatory Democrat Party that has yet to offer a plan of any kind.
“The House has done its job. Twice. To the Senate we say: You have our plans. Choose one, and start – finally – your portion of the legislative process. Debate and amend, rather than summarily dismiss.
“Write or shape a bill your body can pass, and send it back to us. We promise, we will take your effort seriously.
“It’s time – finally, please – for the Senate to get in the game. We’ve done our job – we anxiously await you doing yours.”