House Blinks – Willing to Lift Debt Ceiling & Reopen Government

The House leadership has decided to cave and meet Barack Obama’s demands, having sent over to the White House a revised proposal to lift the debt ceiling for six weeks, which will reopen the partial shutdown of the federal government through December 15. This latest cave to Obama demonstrates that House Republican leadership does not have what it take to engage in a real showdown with Democrats, which is what I said earlier.

The Hill reports:

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House Republicans have sent the White House the framework of a deal that would raise the debt ceiling for six weeks and set up immediate negotiations to end the government shutdown. 

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House GOP leaders say they have yet to receive a response to the offer, and details of the plan are being kept under wraps.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the House plan did not come up at the meeting with Obama, adding, “I don’t quite understand it.”
“The president is very reluctant to commit to anything because he has to deal with the House of Representatives,” he added.

Senate Republicans are eager for the government shutdown to end, fearing it could squander their chance at a majority in 2014. The GOP has seen its approval ratings fall to record lows in two major polls.

paul_ryan_thumbsup_reutersLet’s be clear here. Fearing 2014 is the worst of Senate and House Republicans. If these elected officials are allowed to think only of their political expediency and careers, they will not be seeing re-election in 2014. They’ll be seeing the door back home.

Americans are fed up with politicians thinking only of how they can do what they can do to get along. They are ready for statesmen who stand for the Constitution and the people. Those that are thinking of themselves and 2014, I give you warning: You are done.

Mike Flynn at Breitbart adds:

In exchange for meeting, at least momentarily, all of Obama’s demands, the House GOP is seeking a “framework” for future negotiations on addressing longer-term budget issues. These negotiations would be led for the Republicans by Rep. Paul Ryan, who is likely to seek a “grand bargain” resolving the nation’s structural budget problems. 

After such a swift capitulation on the current impasse, how likely is it that the GOP will be able to extract meaningful reforms during yet another round of budget talks? House Leadership has already shown that, when nearing an actual deadline, it will cave while extracting very few concessions. 

The GOP surrender comes at a time when it is in a stronger position than it was during the partial government shutdown in 1995/96. The public generally blames both parties and President Obama for the fiscal stalemate. Obama’s approval ratings, meanwhile, have cratered to 37%, the lowest of his Presidency. 

In addition, 61% of the public thinks significant spending cuts have to be part of any deal to lift the debt ceiling. By that, they mean actual cuts, not a “framework” to discuss cuts. 

Ryan, ah yes, the one everyone called “Mr. Fiscal Conservative” last year and the GOP wanted as their Vice-President. Has everyone seen through him now? I hope so.

In fact, Robert CostaNational Review informs of just what Ryan has been doing all this time:

For weeks, instead of getting heavily involved in the shutdown talks, Ryan has worked on the edges, focusing on Ways and Means Committee meetings and floor huddles. During these sessions, he has urged his colleagues to support his push for broader fiscal talks, even if they were uncomfortable with tabling parts of their Obamacare agenda. Initially, it wasn’t an easy sell, but eventually many conservatives began to buy in. They didn’t like Ryan’s pitch, which asked them to lower certain expectations during divided government, but they slowly agreed with him that their dug-in position was unlikely to yield much.

By earlier this week, Ryan’s allies tell me a group of nearly 150 House Republicans had confided to Ryan or the leadership that they were coming around on the debt ceiling; if he’d lead talks on tax reform and entitlement reform, they’d give him their blessing. After weeks of seeing a debt-ceiling standoff as the only “conservative option,” Ryan had quietly ushered them away from that strategy and toward a longer endgame. His Wall Street Journal op-ed gave his cause even more momentum.

That factor was an important one this morning when Speaker John Boehner unveiled his plan for a six-week extension. Ryan’s dogged, behind-the-scenes efforts, plus a shift by conservative groups to fight chiefly on the continuing resolution, created an atmosphere of acceptance for Boehner’s proposal. Ryan had made Boehner’s plan palatable, days before it was floated.

John Boehner claims that in negotiations “everyone doesn’t get all of what they want.”

The question, in light of what is being proposed is, what are Republicans getting that they are demanding in this? As far as I can see, they are getting political relief, that’s it. They are meeting Obama’s demands, instead of funding only what they intend and keeping Obama’s feet to the fire.

John Boehner said that in negotiations “Not everyone gets what they want.” True. But the question is, what are the Republicans getting in this? It seems nothing, but more Continuing Resolutions, which are seriously questionable at best, and continue to kick the can down the road, strapping us with more debt on us, our children and our children’s children.

But Wait! The Republicans are getting an ‘agreement’ to go to conference over the debt ceiling. How did that work out the last time? Oh that’s right, we raised the debt ceiling. Did anyone who was threatened to have their pay withheld if they didn’t follow through go without a paycheck? You guessed it, no they did not. The House GOP leadership is simply caving and they are using clever words to cover up their inability to stand the heat of the kitchen. Personally, I think it’s time they get out and raise some new GOP blood up that can take the heat and can cook as well.

UPDATE: Politico reports Obama turned down the GOP offer (as if anyone expected him to accept it).

President Barack Obama spoke with House Speaker John Boehner on Friday but did not wholly accept the House Republican plan to open government, raise the debt ceiling and open budget talks, sources said.

“The President and the Speaker spoke by telephone a few minutes ago. They agreed that we should all keep talking,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner.

Senior Republican sources say Obama is amenable to changes to mandatory and discretionary spending, but needs Republicans to commit to increasing governmental revenue. Obama also acknowledged that an unpopular medical device tax is not core to the health care law, GOP senators said after the meeting. That tax has been in the crosshairs of senators from both parties working toward a broad agreement.

When will House GOP leadership understand they are dealing with a mental case in Barack Obama? You cannot negotiate with this man.

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