House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is pushing Republicans to "unite behind" Speaker John Boehner and his plan to raise the debt limit, Roll Call's John Stanton reports. Cantor's lobbying shows how desperate debt negotiations have become--only weeks ago, Cantor (pictured) was fairly obviously campaigning for Boehner's job and undermining the speaker's emerging deal with President Obama, the now-likely-dead "grand bargain." Sure, Cantor told his colleagues, "the debt limit vote sucks," but they need to "stop grumbling and whining" so they can "rally behind the speaker and call the president's bluff," a meeting attendee told Stanton.
If the Boehner plan goes down in the House, that would represent a serious blow to Boehner’s leadership, weakening his hand in negotiations. ...At that point, the Senate would then pass Harry Reid’s proposal, and then kick it over to the House, which would increase pressure on Boehner to try to get it passed, since he was unable to pass his own plan.
[Democrats] would use the 'shell' of the Boehner bill as a vehicle to pass Harry Reid's proposal, because for various procedural reasons House messages get expedited consideration. Senate Dems would vote to 'amend' Boehner's bill by replacing it completely with Reid’s proposal--which the Senate could then pass more quickly than they otherwise could.After that, Reid’s proposal--having passed the Senate--would then get kicked back to the House. Having proved that Boehner’s plan can’t pass the Senate, Democrats would in effect be giving House Republicans a choice: Either pass the Reid proposal, or take the blame for default and the economic calamity that ensues.
"This is not analogous to '95. This was a dispute--and very frankly I think we're going to be back at that dispute come October 1 of this year. They passed appropriation bills that won't pass the Senate. They know that. This is a crowd that is committed to simply its political, ideological agenda. Not to making law."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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