Nation’s Fate in Boehner’s Hands

14 October 2013 |permalink | email article

It looks like Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are within a breath’s hair of a deal to reopen the government and extend the debt limit for several months.If they ink it on Tuesday, they can probably pass it before Thursday, at which time the Treasury Department will run out of headroom under the debt limit and the country will be at the mercy of its lenders. But the troubling question, as Salon posted, is what happens in the House? Unfortunately, the only evidence we have to go one is that Boehner has never explicitly invoked the Hastert Rule over the debt limit and government funding bills and he has never publicly foreclosed on allowing the country to default. It stands to reason that GOP dead-enders will oppose any bipartisan deal—and even threaten to defrock Boehner if he defies them. But as weak as his control of the House is, Boehner’s still officially the speaker—and as long as he’s officially the speaker, he controls the floor. The logical assumption is that Boehner will put the Senate plan on the floor long before midnight. There are 217-plus votes for any deal that comes from the Senate and his chance to preserve his speakership.

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