Orange Julius can’t control his caucus… still.
Mitch McConnell made a payroll taxcut deal that was slated to pass the House. Boehner was cool with the deal. McConnell and Harry Reid high-fived. Harry Reid adjourned the Senate. Boehner called the deal a “good deal” and a “victory.” Then, this morning, Boehner did an about-face. He has rejected the deal and put the screws to the middle class — again.
Of course, Boehner now wants the Senate to return to Washington and renegotiate. Harry Reid isn’t having it though. In a statement released today, he said,
“My House colleagues should be clear on what their vote means today. If Republicans vote down the bipartisan compromise negotiated by Republican and Democratic leaders, and passed by 89 senators including 39 Republicans, their intransigence will mean that in ten days, 160 million middle class Americans will see a tax increase, over two million Americans will begin losing their unemployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians.
“Senator McConnell and I negotiated a compromise at Speaker Boehner’s request. I will not re-open negotiations until the House follows through and passes this agreement that was negotiated by Republican leaders, and supported by 90 percent of the Senate.
Here’s Steve Benen:
As for Boehner’s demand that policymakers work on a year-long extension, instead of a two-month extension, Reid said Democrats would continue to work on this goal, just as soon as the House approves this short-term measure and gives policymakers time to work on a new agreement. Another Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, said something similar on MSNBC earlier.
Senate Dems, in other words, are trying to, in effect, “jam” House Republicans — they passed a bill and left, giving the lower chamber a choice between passing the Senate bill or raising taxes on 160 million Americans.
Complicating matters a bit, some Senate Republicans are siding with Dems on this, telling House Republicans to cut the nonsense and pass the extension.
The next move will probably be a House vote on the Senate bill, which Republican leaders expect to fail. Indeed, that’s largely the point — they’re bringing it to the floor so GOP members can kill it and send a message to the Senate that the bipartisan compromise isn’t far enough to the right.
Benen has some interesting analysis about whether or not 26 Republicans will break rank and vote for the deal anyway. His guess is no. My guess is no. Republicans have proven time and time again that they just don’t give a fuck. Republicans seem to think that Americans will blame President Obama for the gridlock, and that such blame will inure to their benefit. We’ll see, I guess.
Whatever the outcome, Boehner will probably claim that he got 98% of what he wanted and then go cry himself in a bottle of single-malt.
Orange Julius cannot handle his business. Nancy Smash! should ask for her gavel back.