The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

LATEST: BOEHNER CANCELS VOTE! EARLIER: Pizza Delivery to Boehner’s Office Could Signal an All-Nighter UPDATE: Boehner Yanks Debt-Ceiling Bill at Last Minute! Vote Postponed UPDATE: Sarah Palin Sends Cryptic Message to Republican Freshmen UPDATE: Boehner Now 2 Votes Short?

Posted on | July 28, 2011 | 87 Comments

UPDATE 10:33 p.m. ET: NO VOTE TONIGHT! Boehner couldn’t get enough Republican votes to pass the bill.

UPDATE 10:39 p.m. ET: Chad Pegram of Fox News got the word from GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy at 10:24 p.m. ET.

UPDATE 10:47 p.m. ET: The Hill:

House Republican leaders have postponed indefinitely a vote on Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) debt limit bill after they could not persuade enough Republicans to support the measure.
“No vote tonight,” the third-ranking House Republican, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), told reporters after leaving Boehner’s office shortly before 10:30 p.m.

The most obvious possible prediction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average will drop at least 200 points Friday.

* * * PREVIOUSLY * * *

UPDATE 9:45 p.m. ET: Jill Jackson of CBS News:

About 2 dozen pizzas were just delivered to Boehner’s office. It’s going to be a long one

It is at times like this that I say to myself, “Maybe I should’ve stuck with that forklift-driver job I had when I was 25.” Who knows? I might have been loading-dock foreman by now . . .

UPDATE 10:00 p.m. ET: National Journal‘s informal count “showed that 22 House Republicans say they will vote no on the measure, four leaning no, and six undecided,” which would be 26 “no” or leaning “no,” meaning that Boehner is now three votes short of the majority 218 needed for passage.

Nobody ever asks my advice on things like this, but if I was in Boehner’s shoes, I’d say, “Damn the torpedoes: Call the vote!”

It would be better to have the vote and lose it, than to sit around until midnight begging for votes.

And if Boehner loses the vote? Offer his resignation. Immediately.

Because if you can’t get a majority on a key bill like this, your leadership is meaningless.

Call the vote. Win or lose. Go all in, Boehner.

UPDATE 8:15 p.m. ET: Another source on Capitol Hill says they’re currently in “limbo,” expecting to hear by 9 p.m. whether or not there will be a vote tonight. The latest word now is that 25 House Republicans are either “no” votes or leaning toward “no” — which would put Boehner two votes short of a majority for passage.

Getting in touch with my inner cynic, I guess this means that staff are busy putting earmarks into the bill. Somebody’s district is gonna get a new post office or a freeway off-ramp out of this deal, or else an aspiring senator is going to get an extra $20,000 for his 2012 campaign.

UPDATE 9:05 p.m. ET: Still no word on whether they’ll actually have the vote tonight. Moneyrunner comments:

I just watched Special Report with Brett Baier and both Stephen Hayes and Charles Krauthammer – who I admire – are insisting that if Republicans pass the bill that Speaker Boehner crafted they will be in a strong position at the negotiating table.
I have to admit that I need a lot of things explained to me when something is not glaringly obvious but I kept asking: “Why?”

Let me say this: If all you know about what’s happening is what you hear on cable-TV news, you’re probably going to be surprised when you find out — tomorrow, next week, next month — what was actually happening behind the scenes.

Whatever your opinion about this bill, don’t let yourself get worked up into a tizzy by what a bunch of talking heads are saying on TV. They get paid to pretend that we’re on the verge of the Apocalypse. Nobody’s paying you to believe them, so keep your powder dry.

Linked by That Mr. G Guy — thanks!

UPDATE 9:18 p.m. ET: OK, now the word is, they’re going to vote some time tonight, but we don’t know when yet, and it is alleged that they don’t even know whether they’ve got the votes to pass the doggone thing. When they go to a roll-call without a complete whip-count — i.e., the result still anybody’s guess — that’s when the going gets weird, and the weird turn pro.

UPDATE 7:25 p.m. ET: While we wait to find out exactly what’s going to happen tonight — will the House vote on the debt-ceiling bill or not? does Boehner have the votes to pass it? — we have a sort of cryptic message to GOP House freshmen from Sarah Palin:

Today I re-read the open letter I wrote to Republican Freshman Members of Congress in November 2010, just days after they were ushered into office in an historic landslide victory due in large part to the activism of commonsense patriots who are considered part of the Tea Party movement. I respectfully ask these GOP Freshman to re-read this letter and remember us “little people” who believed in them, donated to their campaigns, spent hours tirelessly volunteering for them, and trusted them with our votes. This new wave of public servants may recall that they were sent to D.C. for such a time as this.

What does she mean by that? Dunno. But “for such a time as this” is a quote from the Bible (Esther 4:14). Maybe it’s a code word, the secret Mama Grizzly signal or something.

And “for such a time as this,” my sources on the Hill are supposed to be answering their cell phones. IKWIMAITYD.

Please excuse the non-chronological sequence of the updates tonight, but I suppose that conveys as well as anything what a chaotic whirlwind has descended on Capitol Hill.

UPDATE 7:45 p.m. ET: Politicon links — thanks! — and also links to The Hill‘s whip count, which reports 24 Republican “no” votes. Ace of Spades notes that “some ‘long-standing’ conservative members” are reported among the “no” votes.

Linked by Mangy Redbone Hound — thanks!

UPDATE 6 p.m. ET: House Speaker John Boehner postponed the vote mere minutes before the roll call was scheduled to begin.

UPDATE 6:20 p.m. ET: It’s complete madness on Capitol Hill, folks. One GOP staffer says they got the news about the delay via an e-mail sent out by the Democrat whip team. Meanwhile, they’ve heard nothing from Republican whip, Kevin McCarthy, who is said to be still twisting arms to get votes for the Speaker’s bill.

And here’s the scary thing: McCarthy was the head of the GOP’s “Young Guns” candidate recruitment program in the 2010 mid-terms. There are freshmen who owe McCarthy big-time, so if the vote had to be delayed because he can’t promise 218 . . . Dude.

So it’s a total clusterfark in the GOP caucus at this point, although they still expect to have a vote tonight. But they’re now relying on media reports to tell them what the hell is going on with their own Republican leadership.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m. ET: Just to let you know I’m not kidding you about Republicans having to get information from media reports, one of my best Hill sources e-mailed me Major Garrett’s story from National Journal:

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is delaying the House vote on his plan to cut the deficit, Republican and Democratic sources told National Journal on Thursday. Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office said the vote would still take place later in the evening.
A Democratic source said only that Boehner was pushing back the vote. A senior Republican source said the House speaker, who was facing opposition in his caucus, had “delayed” the vote.
“The vote will be this evening,” said a spokesman for Cantor’s office.

You see what I’m talking about here?

A. Democrats know what Boehner’s doing before Republicans know what Boehner’s doing; and
B. Republicans don’t find out until it’s reported in the media.

Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.

UPDATE 6:45 p.m. ET: Hot Air’s got the story headlined as “BOEHNERGEDDON” — Allahpundit doing his usual “Link Everybody Except Stacy” round-up — so I’m grateful to Don Surber, Bob Belvedere, The Rhetorican and The Lonely Conservative for their linkage.

If you’re a blogger hoping to get linked at Hot Air, never bother to do any original reporting, because Allah hates bloggers who do reporting.

PREVIOUSLY (5:05 p.m. ET): (Original headline was “BREAKING: House Roll Call on Boehner Bill Expected to Begin at 5:45 p.m. ET”)

So says my source on Capitol Hill. Love it or hate it, House GOP leaders are twisting every arm to pass it. We’ll have complete updated coverage here, of course, but I wanted to share this video of Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) announcing her support of the bill:

Few freshmen in Congress can rival Ellmers’s credentials as the total Tea Party conservative, so her support of the bill is highly significant.

BTW, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped another 61 points today. I blame Harry Reid.

UPDATE 5:45 p.m. ET (Smitty): Via iOwnTheWorld, Priceless Princess Pelosi:

“What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget. We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.”

Thanks, lady. Had you condescended to budget when you were running matters, your remarks wouldn’t resemble something the World’s Youngest Blogger just did.


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Comments

  • Anonymous

    “Any bills relating to the budget needs to start in the House..”

    I believe this is inaccurate.   Only revenue or tax bills must originate in the House.  Spending bills can originate from either.  In the most famous case – ObamaCare was passed in the Senate first. 

  • http://rodericdeane.blogspot.com/ RD

    I sent Rene Ellmers an email yesterday and reminded her that I contributed to her campaign on the premise that she was going to Washington to make a difference. Her backing this very flawed bill means that I will NOT contribute a penny to her re-election campaign. She just defected. A Sullivan Ballou she could never hope to be.

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  • http://pointofagun.blogspot.com/ Dave C

    Thank for the clarification.. 

  • http://www.redstateeclectic.typepad.com AngelaTC

    IIRC, They passed Obamacare by stripping the text out of an unrelated bill that had already passed the House and replacing it with the Obamacare text. 

    The House will send back any spending bill that didn’t originate in the House, but I’m not sure if it’s ever been settled by a court that revenue isn’t the same as spending.

  • http://www.redstateeclectic.typepad.com AngelaTC

    Rep Cantor, is that you?

  • http://twitter.com/Mutnodjmet Leslie Eastman

    One DEBT to Rule Them All!!!Hold them back! Do not give in to fear! Stand to your posts! FIGHT!

  • Anonymous

    You’re welcome. Note I said “believe”. It’s what I’ve picked up from a couple legal tho not Constitutional legal sources. It’s also my reading of the Constitution.

    I didn’t know DISQUS provided email capability. Cool.

    _____

  • Anonymous

    Check Article 1, Sec 7. That is where the Senate is precluded from originating revenue legislation. I believe the House and Senate are coequal partners as far as originating spending bills. But then again, I’m no lawyer, much less a Constitutional lawyer. Just my reading of the Constitution w/o following subsequent interpretations.

    _____

  • Anamika

    Relax. You seem excited. Don’t break a vein.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    So, we invite default so we can share the blame for the mess Obama made. 
    Great idea!  At least we  . . . say, what DID we get for that?  A big fat NOTHING.

    Smart thinking, boys.  Guess what your “principled” stand costs?  Well, every 1% hike in the interest rate will cost us an EXTRA $140 billion in interest every year.  Italy’s paper just rose to 5.77% for the 10-year notes, and they have not defaulted or “de facto defaulted” by failing to make other payments scheduled and due.  So they are in better shape than we will be if this obstruction results in a default or a Democratic plan which leads to a downgrade.

    If we had to pay what Italy is paying now, it amounts to nearly $500 billion MORE we would have to pay in INTEREST on our debt EVERY YEAR.  Our total debt service would be in the neighborhood of $800 billion EVERY YEAR.

    Think we are in trouble now?  Just wait until the noble Tea Party has saved us.

    F-ing idiots.  Take a math class, morons.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    Yeah, must not have a Rep from NC that can actually do arithmetic! 

    Did Ellmers ever promise not to vote for an increase in the debt ceiling even if needed to avoid default?  Just curious . . . because if she didn’t, why would you assume she would do something that stupid?

  • John Higgins1990

    If Paul Ryan and Allen West are supporting the Boehner bill, then we’d better fall in line.  Ryan is one of the few in DC that I trust.

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  • Joe

    I have mixed feeling over this.  I definitely do not care for Boehner’s plan.  I think it is weaker than CC&B and that is the wrong signal to send.  But that Boehner can’t pass a compromise is a good thing (in showing there is strong opposition) but a bad thing in letting the Dems off the hook and trying to blame Republicans. 

    Let’s just say it is complex. 

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    Yup – hobble the budget forever with higher interest costs, and take half the blame for Obama’s economic disaster, just to prove some point.  The Tea Party needs to wake up and smell the coffee!

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  • Anonymous

    Dungbat.

  • Anonymous

    Now there’s an idea worth exploring.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    I’m afraid they’re going to kill themselves as a force in politics. If things get much worse and its perceived they’re at fault, its going to end their chances of taking over the Republican Party. A lot of them have damn well forgotten who put them over in the general election, and in many cases that would be people who don’t go for this ideological claptrap.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Thanks for that voice of reason.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    I hate to admit it, but I guess all these people that used to say “regular folks” don’t have any business in Washington might have somewhat of a point after all.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Actually though, its too late at this point, not too late to avoid default, but way more than likely its too late to avoid our credit rating dropped. That’s when hell on earth will begin. And at this point the Boehner Plan, even if it was passed by both Houses of Congress and signed by Obama into law with the Marine Band playing in the backyard and jugglers and acrobats performing, its still probably too late. This should have been settled two or three weeks ago. Now I feel like somebody that just jumped off a plane and just learned the people who were supposed to pack my parachute for me didn’t bother. It seems like a long trip down but the SPLATT! is coming any second now.

  • Anonymous

    Then neither does our tax money.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Because like I said, it puts the onus of the blame on the Democrats. But regardless, nobody is going to look good in this mess. The best we can hope for at this point is that we don’t look quite as bad to all those people who’s main concern right now is who’s going to be appearing on Dancing With The Stars and to the Independents who come and go with the wind.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Don’t look now but we’re at “Sudden Death”, it’s “Fourth and Goal”, we’ve fumbled the ball innumerable times, and that penalty flag you see flying through the air? That’s only the umpeenth “Delay of Game” call. Oh, and we’re still at the “Twenty-Yard Line”. You know, the one across the field from where we need to be.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Tea-Party voters aren’t the only ones who believe in contested primaries. Just as importantly, they’re not the only ones who vote in the general election. Good luck hanging on to the Independents who put your people across the last election.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    I hope you can adjust to the idea, because at the rate things are going there’s going to be enough Democrats in Congress in 2013 to enable newly re-elected President Obama to have the top income tax bracket moved down to sixty thousand a year.

  • Anonymous

    And right about then is when Civil War 2.0 kicks off. We beat the slavers once; just have to do it again.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    If Obama is re-elected and the Dems take over the House again, you will have nobody to blame but yourselves when the people give you the heave ho. How is it you think you’re going to have popular support for a war if the people vote you out? See, that’s the problem here. People are thinking with their hearts instead of their head.

    I want Obama defeated, and I want as many Democrats gone as humanly possible. If the Tea Party can’t handle that I am not the only one who will be looking for somebody else that shares that goal and is willing to go about it in a sensible way. Principled positions mean exactly diddly-squat if you can’t win. And whether you want to believe it or not, its like the old saying goes. “Winning ain’t everything-its the only thing.”

    I’ve also come to the conclusion that the Tea Party has adopted a fatalistic philosophy. They complain about every bill that doesn’t cut so much off the debt. Fine, I understand their concern, but what nobody is seeing is that just because a budget is passed for one or two years doesn’t means its carved in stone for all eternity.

    If you can WIN the election in 2012, and have enough people in Congress with a conservative President, then guess what? You actually get to submit an entirely different budget that can be more to your liking. You do know that, don’t you?

    But first, you have to fucking WIN.

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