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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Boehner pretends to be in control of runaway train

Raw Story - Government shutdown in sight as Republicans revolt over Obamacare
Agence France-Press: The House of Representatives doubled down Wednesday on a gamble to strip funding for “Obamacare” as part of a stop-gap budget, inching the US government closer to a shutdown.

Congress has until September 30, the end of the fiscal year, to pass a temporary budget measure or see closures of all federal agencies and programs just as the administration seeks to extend the government’s legal borrowing limit and secure Syria’s chemical weapons.

House Speaker John Boehner appeared to cave in to the conservative wing of his Republican Party, which has threatened to vote against any deal on a temporary budget — known as a continuing resolution, or CR — unless it defunds President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law and keeps this year’s automatic spending cuts in place.

"This week the House will pass a CR that locks the sequester savings in and defunds Obamacare,” Boehner told reporters after meeting for an hour with his caucus.
"Boehner dismissed accusations he has lost control of his caucus, many of which revolted last week against a Boehner bill that would have allowed the Senate to easily strip out language to defund Obamacare as part of the CR," the report goes on. Let’s stop pretending that Boehner is anything other than a figurehead here, not a leader. He doesn’t twist arms, he has his arm twisted. So basically what’s happening here is that Boehner has acted as spokesperson for the Tea Party, announcing that the wingnut tantrum will be going along as scheduled.

However, the tantrum — like all tantrums — is unlikely to accomplish anything. It’s basically bluster, hoping that someone in Democratic leadership might be bluffed into blinking. “To be clear about what this means, all that has changed today is that GOP leaders have just confirmed they are not yet willing to face the inevitable reckoning that will take place when they admit House Republicans don’t have the leverage they need to block Obamacare,” explains Greg Sargent. “House GOP leaders have simply confirmed that they can’t overcome internal conservative demands for a Total War posture against the health law, and — for now, anyway — will continue to placate those demands, even though those leaders themselves think this posture is insane, unworkable, and self destructive.”

Republicans can either shut down the government and enjoy the fruits of that articular disaster or they can cave, accept that Obamacare is a done deal, and move forward like adults. But one thing is clear here;in the end, the only choice left to Republicans seems to be the manner in which they’d prefer to lose.

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