Mutiny on the Hill

4 Jan

John-Boehner-02-sizedFurther signs of the unraveling of the Republican Party.

The GOP swept into the House two years ago with dreams of finally getting things its way.

Led by members of the Tea Party, they were determined to bend the government to their will, take on the President, lower taxes and cut spending.

It was to be a new day in America.
How the mighty have fallen.

John Boehner, who is Speaker of the House, is the supposed the leader of the Republicans in the House.

His job is to herd all the cats in the same direction.

Cats don’t herd, so that didn’t work.

Yesterday, he was re-elected to the Speaker position, but it wasn’t because he did so well.

It was because there really wasn’t anyone else for the job.

A group of twelve Republicans tried and failed to push to a second ballot and potentially replace him as leader of the House.

During the tense public roll-call vote, they either voted for someone else or deliberately not voted at all.

At one point, there was enough Republicans to force a second ballot but in the end he got 51.6 percent.

All he needed was a majority of votes cast.

They came up five votes short of what would have been needed to force that second ballot.

You can be sure there will be some sort of payback.

Boehner’s having a bad couple of months.

There’s criticism from his own party and conservatives outside Congress both for his handling of the final “fiscal cliff” legislation and for scrapping a vote on a Hurricane Sandy relief bill.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went ballistic when Boehner cancelled that vote at the last minute.

All this happened less than two days after Boehner lost nearly two-thirds of his supporters in the fiscal-cliff vote on a Senate compromise.

So, how did he save himself?

There are stories in Congress of Boehner’s people intimidating members into backing him, threatening to strip them of committee assignments and withhold financial support for their campaigns.

Depending who is talking, some say Boehner should get credit for keeping the anti-tax Republicans in line and getting the fiscal cliff pushed off at least a couple of months.

Others say that only pushed the problem to the next congressional session and the fight will be worse when they go at it again.

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