Remember the 113th Congress, whose purpose was to thwart President Obama’s legislative agenda so that Republicans could retake the Senate and get stuff done in the 114th? It tuns out single-party control only works when the GOP is a single party. Over at the Times, Neil Irwin suggests that this week will tell us whether Boehner and McConnell can manage the tea party wing of their caucus, and things aren’t looking good. He points out that the House only avoided a DHS shutdown earlier this month by passing a stopgap bill at the last minute with Democratic votes. Meanwhile, Pelosi and Boehner agreed on a doc fix for Medicare but may not bring their parties along. And a bill to fight human trafficking has been derailed by a redundant anti-abortion amendment, which has in turn left nominated Attorney General Loretta Lynch with the longest wait for confirmation in US history. So next on the list is a federal budget.
Should children be exposed to the sounds of sodomy? That’s the (presumably rhetorical) question that an Irish anti-gay group asks in this pamphlet urging voters to oppose adoption for homosexual couples. Won’t somebody please think of the children while he’s railing hot twinks? And sure, people have a right to do things that we find unpleasant, but we shouldn’t have to confront any evidence of it. Today is Friday, and one man’s hot action is another’s clarion call. Won’t you try something a little different with me?
Since Monday, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R–LA) has fended off criticism for appearing at the 2002 National/International EURO Workshop on Civil Rights, a white nationalist organization founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. You know Duke is a pro, because he put “civil rights” in the name of his white supremacist convention. John Boehner is a pro, too. He and other Republican leaders have issued coordinated statements defending Scalise and expressing their confidence that he can wield the power of the whip.
Even as Congressional Republicans insist they are willing to negotiate—as if the other side had any demands—the federal shutdown drags on. Although previous reports from anonymous moderates held that John Boehner was determined to pass a clean debt ceiling increase, the Washington Post reported yesterday that he is willing to risk default. “That’s the path we’re on,” Boehner said on ABC’s This Week, unless President Obama offers some undetermined concessions on the Affordable Care Act or federal spending. Page 2 of the same article contains this paragraph:
Some Republicans argue that missing [routine Social Security payments] would not amount to a governmental default. They say that would occur only if the Treasury Department fails to make interest payments to investors.
It’s good to see the GOP’s priorities remain intact.
It’s been a full week of shutdown mania here at Combat! blog, and we are no closer to answering the fundamental questions. When will government open for business again? What force could stir either side to relent? How unified is the Republican Party? Did the Obamacare defunders actaully go into this with no plan for what to do if their demands were not met? The answer to that last question, terrifyingly, seems to be yes. Senator Ted Cruz (R–TX) reportedly had no endgame when pressed by fellow Republicans Wednesday, and he is supposed to be the smartest guy in his delegation. Today is Friday, and the Tea Party has lived its dream to shut down the federal government and replace it with nothing. Won’t you stare grimly at the news with me?