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August 13, 2013

John Boehner And Eric Cantor Really, Really, Really Don't Want A Government Shutdown

I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you.

Since the moment the idea was floated by a handful of conservative lawmakers, House Republican leaders have been wary of the tea-party plan to shut down the federal government this fall unless Obamacare is defunded. Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, a veteran of the Gingrich wars, has never been eager to go there, nor has Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. But they didn’t immediately storm out of their offices and nix the pitch. Instead, due to the fragility of the bonds holding the House GOP together, they have labored behind the scenes, pouring cold water in careful measure on their colleagues’ boiling brinksmanship.


“A shutdown? It’s not happening, it’s really not, but I guess you won’t hear people say that out loud, including me,” chuckles a senior House Republican. “No one, you see, wants to be ‘out-toughed’ on Obamacare. We’re out here talking about repeal everyday. But the speaker and everybody else here know that the Senate votes, unfortunately, will never be there to pass a continuing resolution to defund Obamacare.”


Members were also buzzing about the leadership’s emerging strategy for the autumn talks. Sources tell me the House GOP will probably avoid using a shutdown as leverage and instead use the debt limit and sequester fights as areas for potential legislative trades. Negotiations over increasing the debt limit have frequently been used to wring concessions out of the administration, so there may be movement in that direction: Delay Obamacare in exchange for an increased debt limit. As members huddled and talked through scenarios, leadership aides reminded them that since the House GOP retreat in Williamsburg, Va., earlier this year, the plan has been to end the year with a debt-limit chess game, and not a messy continuing-resolution impasse. But the aides didn’t press too hard. As Boehner knows all too well from past struggles, it often takes only 20 to 30 irritated Republicans to destroy his best-laid plans.

They aren't willing to go to the mattresses on the CR/shutdown but they are totally going to risk busting the debt limit? Please.

And yes, there's no clear endgame where a shutdown leads to victory but that's true of Boehner's supposed, "vote forever" strategy. Ohhhh....you voted to delay ObamaCare and nothing happened? Great, let's keep doing that!

I understand the reality Boehner is facing. There's almost zero chance of a shutdown leading to any meaningful reform of ObamaCare but simply letting it happen means it's here to stay in one form or another.

It comes down to the damage you think ObamaCare (or a slightly less awful Republican version) will do to the fabric of America as we know it. If you look around at the growth and power of government in the last half century or so, then putting the final piece in place (the takeover of health care) is a great idea. If you think now is the time to take a stand before the last step to full on Euro-socialism hits, then no cost is too high to try and stop it.

Republicans had their shot at stopping ObamaCare and their plan was to nominate Mitt Romney. It's time to let the other guys take a turn. We need to put it to the country clearly and concisely....this is a very bad and dangerous thing that is about to happen. Speak now or deal with the consequences.

Keeping the Republican's powder dry at this point is simply an effort in making sure they have a seat at the table while the last scraps of the carcass are picked over. The GOP is interested in that, conservatives shouldn't be.

Go down fighting and hope for some puncher's luck or go down quietly. That's the choice.

Related: The Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee is frustrated with conservatives who don't want to spend more and pass bills.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:50 PM

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