SHOCKER: It Was All A Bluff

Looks like the House is moving forward with their own bill this morning. Here are the details, from Robert Costa:

  • Continuing Resolution until 1/15
  • Debt Ceiling increase until 2/7
  • Vitter Amendment for members and cabinet members
  • Two-year medical device tax delay
  • Income verification
  • Ban on the use of extraordinary measures

That’s it. Nothing that really undermines Obamacare and no risk of heading over the debt limit. It’s still unclear if this can pass the House. It will likely get little, if any, Democratic support and many House conservatives are not going to be happy. In addition there isn’t anything that Senate Democrats will like so I’m sure they will reject it. I imagine Boehner may still have to break the Hastert Rule in the end with a bill somewhere in between what currently exists in the Senate and this one.

But look at how far the House has come! Boehner was never going to allow us to default. That’s abundantly clear now. In addition, he watered down the Vitter Amendment at the last second because he knew all along how awful it would be for congressional aides. It’s what everyone has been clamoring about for weeks. The House GOP finally admitted it at the last second. As for income verification, this is already part of the law and a number of conservatives have already rejected it as meaningless. A ban on extraordinary measures is a minor concession (and something I support).

That’s what House leadership is now PROPOSING. That’s their offer for opening the government and raising the debt ceiling. In addition, it seems that House Republicans are relatively unified behind this plan (Robert Costa reporting that there won’t be a revolt). We’ll see if that holds true in the end, but it’s important to realize how far the House GOP has come in their demands. They said all along they were willing to breach the debt ceiling if Obamacare wasn’t stopped. Instead, they’re accepting a corporate tax delay, a benefit cut for members, enforcing a part of Obamacare that already exists and a ban on a technical method to extend the debt ceiling. It confirms they were bluffing the entire time.


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