**UPDATE: Hell no you can’t! Boehner bill dies quick death in the Senate

Tough crowd: John Boehner's speakership faces it's biggest test, over whether he can find Republican votes to raise the debt ceiling.

John Boehner, foiled again.

UPDATE 2: Boehner’s bill barely passed, finally (and at what price for Boehner’s leadership), on Friday, only to die a quick death at the hands of 59 Senators. Well, that happened.

Now, it’s the Senate’s turn to act. And while Mitch McConnell is, astonishingly, refusing to negotiate with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying he wants the Boehner treatment from the president (mad that you got left out of that golf game, Mitch?) Reid is pressing ahead with his bill, and looking to incorporate McConnell’s failsafe plan in the process. If Reid can hold the 59 Senators who voted against the Boehner bill — and there’s no guarantee that he can — he only needs one more vote to override a certain McConnell-inspired fillibuster.


UPDATE: From the New York Times breaking news in the in-box:

Lacking Votes, House Won’t Vote on Boehner Debt Plan Tonight

Republican leaders in the House have announced that there will be no vote on the debt ceiling bill Thursday night, an indication that House Speaker John A. Boehner remains short of the votes necessary to pass his legislation.

Mr. Boehner and his top lieutenants called it a night after more than five hours of furious arm-twisting of freshman Republicans, many of whom emerged from the closed-door sessions appearing to be firmer in their opposition.

There was little indication of what else had transpired during an evening that was supposed to have been a victory for Mr. Boehner as he passed a second debt-limit bill over to the Democratic Senate.

Instead, the evening highlighted the tensions within his conference and the sway that the Tea Party backed members hold within Mr. Boehner’s party.

There was no indication of whether a vote might still come on Friday.

So to review: John Boehner, who as speaker has shepherded a whopping 12 bills through the House of Representatives, resulting in about as much new law as Florida has had snow this year, cannot get 216 of his 242 members to vote for … well, anything. Really?

The question on a lot of people’s minds tonight has to be whether Eric Cantor helped whip that vote, or helped whip freshmen into an unrealistic frenzy of power-man unrealism. And whether House Whip Kevin McCarthy can count. Maybe Boehner should have handed out tobacco checks…

This is getting sloppy. the sad thing is, the vote didn’t even matter, since Boehner’s short-term extension bill is DOA in the Senate. But the fact that Boehner can’t even pass a demonstration vote says his speakership is as weak as you probably think it is. Could a leadership challenge, led by the talk radio listeners currently in charge of the House, be far behind?

surveys the wreckage.

And Luke Russert on MSNBC makes a good point: that people on the Hill are now kicking themselves for getting rid of earmarks, since now the leadership literally has nothing to offer recalcitrant members. Again… tobacco checks.


The House of Representatives in the 112th Congress is already on pace to be the most unproductive in generations, with just 12 bills having passed so far, versus the hundreds Nancy Pelosi had gotten through at this point in her speakership. Now, Boehner, who clearly is unable to control his caucus, particularly the 83 ineducable tea party freshmen, faces the ultimate test: can he corral the votes to raise the debt ceiling? Boehner could theoretically do it with all 193 Democrats plus 24 Republicans (something that’s highly unlikely because Boehner couldn’t live politically with an outcome that has him going hat in hand to Nancy Pelosi.) He could also do it with 217 Republicans, but that means he can only afford to lose 24.

Either way, this will be a test of Boehner’s leadership — and over a point that’s ultimately moot. His bill cannot pass the Senate, and President Obama won’t sign it, because it sets up yet another showdown over the debt ceiling six months from now.

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9 Responses to **UPDATE: Hell no you can’t! Boehner bill dies quick death in the Senate

  1. Todd Stiff says:

    Doesn't it have to sit around for three days so we can read it before they vote on it?

  2. Woo says:

    Do you really not understand this, JReid? Come on now.

    Boner’s and Reid’s bills are close enough to fudge them together with amendments, then send them back to the House. The republicans will have to pressure their members to pass it, and then the Senate has to do the same. Then the resident will sign a bill to cut Social Security and Medicare, like he always planned.

    This is how bills are passed, or not passed. Had you not noticed?

  3. Woo says:

    Ok. So you know what to expect, there will be a bunch of arguing back and forth for a while, all of which are meant to manipulate and deceive Americans. While that goes on deals, selling out of constituents and vote counting will go on behind the scenes. The public arguments will grow more frantic until finally, they’ll vote all of a sudden and hope nobody noticed that they voted exactly opposite of what they were arguing.

    Then they’ll never mention what happened again.

    Which is why compromise is for suckers, JReid.

  4. Steve says:

    This whole debate and possible default is only happening because of a miscalculation and “time waster” Harry Reid who was more concerned about his reelection than the good of the country. I quote the following below…

    Reid also said that he would like to push off raising the debt ceiling until next year — when Republicans control the House, but that he has not discussed the matter yet with his caucus.

    “Let the Republicans have some buy-in on the debt. They’re going to have a majority in the House,” said Reid. “I don’t think it should be when we have a heavily Democratic Senate, heavily Democratic House and a Democratic president.”

  5. Rupert says:

    Harry Reid was reelected last year for 6 more years, Steve; so what happened since then? They don’t generally raise the debt ceiling a year ahead of time.

  6. Steve says:

    The debt ceiling should have been raised in December of 2010 for when we hit it in March of 2011. The quote is from December of 2010. The treasury has just done a bunch of tricks to extend until August of 2011 but were warning of the need to raise it when Harry Reid procrastinated the vote. Harry Reid did not want to take the heat politically for his party and himself. Please keep in mind that Harry Reid is not just a Senator but also the Senate majority leader which position he could lose in the next election. Clearly he was concerned about the politics of raising the ceiling more than raising it in December of 2010.

  7. Rupert says:

    Glad for the clarification, Steve. Actually, then, Reid was being fair and reasonable by not trying to address it in the lame duck session. It would have been easier to push through something before Boehner became Speaker, but objectionable. Not very relevant today. And all Boehner wants to do now is a 9 month deal so we can suffer through all this next year.

  8. Iris Boyd says:

    John Boehner is the worse House Speaker I have seen in my lifetime. I just can see Nancy pointing at Boehner, laughing at him.

  9. Steve says:

    Reid was not trying to be fair or reasonable. In context of the quote, he did not want the Democrats to take blame for raising the debt ceiling which is always an unpopular move. So, rather than do the right thing for the country he chose to what he thought was best for Harry Reid. (A common theme for most politicians…) So now we are being dragged through this mess.

    Boehner is just trying to do to Harry Reid what Harry Reid wanted to do to the Republicans. He is trying to push blame by raising the debt ceiling issue right in front of an election.

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