Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) certainly knows his caucus. “It’s going to end up being clean anyway,” he told The Post a week ago today. “I don’t see anything they can put on the table that I would support as some sort of trade-off.” The “it” in question was a bill to raise the debt ceiling. And The Post’s Robert Costa reports now that the House Republican leadership will bring up a clean debt-ceiling bill as early as tonight.
For a while, it looked as if House Republicans were going to pursue another fruitless confrontation with President Obama over raising the statutory limit on the nation’s borrowing. They were going to tie it to restoration of cuts to military retirement benefits. They were contemplating linking it to approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. They even gave thought again to tying a repeal of part of the Affordable Care Act to lifting the statutory limit on federal borrowing. But the fractured GOP caucus couldn’t come to a consensus on which unwinnable fight to wage.
Once again, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats must help Speaker Boehner drag the legislation to passage with their votes. And this is already causing the embattled speaker untold grief. The Senate Conservatives Fund is calling on Boehner’s ouster with a “Dear John” petition. Also, as Aaron Blake reports, an e-mail to SCF supporters said, “Unless we install a new leader who will actually go on offense, Democrats will never fear us and we will never have any leverage.”
Oh, the SCF shouldn’t worry about that. Democrats and Republicans fear it because it has demonstrated time and again it is crazy enough to try to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States to eke out a legislative win it couldn’t achieve otherwise. And the SCF will “never have any leverage” as long as it continues to eschew governing for legislative tantrums that play well in safe districts. Even Boehner knows that at a certain point politics has to give way to pragmatism to keep the ship of state afloat.
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