Report: Boehner Willing to Buck Conservatives on Debt Ceiling

Speaker may be willing to break the so-called Hastert rule

  • Share
  • Read Later
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

House Speaker John Boehner speaks to members of the media after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House on Oct. 2, 2013

House Speaker John Boehner has indicated to colleagues that he won’t let the country default on its debt, even if it means going against the rank-and-file of his conservative caucus on raising the debt ceiling, the New York Times reports.

The Times, citing multiple House Republicans, reports that Boehner has said he’s willing to break the informal so-called Hastert rule, which calls for only bringing bills to the House floor when they have majority support from members of the majority party. Conservatives have insisted — and Boehner has echoed them publicly — that President Barack Obama and Democrats will need to make major concessions in exchange for a debt limit increase.

Boehner’s office denied that he plans to raise the nation’s borrowing cap in cooperation with Democrats and without the support of his restive Republican caucus, over which he has had little control in recent months. But a spokesman also acknowledged the need to raise the debt limit, something economists and Wall Street are increasingly warning is essential to avoid economic catastrophe. The Treasury Department says the country will reach its borrowing limit on Oct. 17

“The speaker always, always prefers to pass legislation with a strong Republican majority,” spokesman Michael Steel said. “The speaker has always been clear that a default would be disastrous for our economy. He’s also been clear that a ‘clean’ debt hike cannot pass the House. That’s why the president and Senate Democrats should drop their ‘no negotiations’ stance, and work with us on a plan to raise the debt limit in a responsible way, with spending cuts and reforms to get our economy moving again and create jobs.”

[NYT]

34 comments
BobJan
BobJan

For all you "Founding Fathers", "Bill of Rights", "Constitutionalists" etc and etc, where does this stupid "Dennis Hastert" rule come up? Who cares if the majority party has enough votes to "up" or "down". It's called the House of Representatives, not the Republican House of Representatives. Both parties need to get their heads out of their ***. They aren't governing, they're being ***holes.

dougglast
dougglast

I'm not anxious to leave the debt ceiling issue to the next US president. I'd rather have it "solved" in Obama's second term, i.e. now. "Solving" that problem means finding a way to tackle it not once and for all, but at least once and again.

In some ways, this debt ceiling issue is not much different from the EU bail-out issues we've seen dangling over year 2011.

The EU debt issues were rather about a "federal" government allowing individual countries to raise their debt ceiling - or rather not to. But basically, the very existence of the Euro was questioned.

The US debt ceiling issue will probably bring about the same kind of consequences for the US dollar. It would cease to exist as an international currency, at least for countries that are smaller US trade partners but use(d) the dollar mostly for commodities.

It's an interesting moment I'd rather see with Obama in charge (rather than with Jeb Bush or any other surprise GOP candidate)


notsacredh
notsacredh

In other breaking news, John Boehner is pushing legislation for Happy Hour to last 24 hours a day. Every day.

lostbutok
lostbutok

A threat to sink the ship which you are aboard is not negotiating, it is insanity.    

manstrato
manstrato

What is wrong with these guys!?  Imagine what happens to our government if every time one party or the other doesn't get what it wants they simply threaten to shut down the government or default on our debts?  The Democrats could do this over gun control, increasing taxes or spending, welfare, child care, birth control, right to choose, or a whole host of other things they aren't able to get through the normal legislative process, but they don't.

Think of this as trying to negotiate with someone who says they will bulldoze your house if you don't agree to "negotiate".  I am no youngster.  I have seen Presidents from Kennedy to Obama.  I have seen some pretty tough times and I have seen some ideological differences between parties and other groups.  I have seen the women's liberation movement and the Civil rights movement, as well as gay marriage debates and right to choose vs. right to life, but I have never seen a party resort to plain and simple blackmail to score some points with the most extreme wing of their supporters.  It is disingenuous to stand behind ideology when you are letting the entire country down.

soren1947
soren1947

Boehner is more worried about losing his speakership than this country, he and his gang needs to lined up against a wall in Chicago and taken care off

PrestonNickolasAlexander
PrestonNickolasAlexander

If I were John Boehner I would not allow a vicious, vocal minority to completely tarnish whatever goodwill was left in this country for Republicans - even if it meant giving up his speakership position.

My conclusion is that Boehner has lost his sense of ethical behavior. I once believed that he was, indeed, an honorable man.

j45ashton
j45ashton

Today Eric Cantor and a few GOP congressmen with medical backgrounds had the disgustingly poor taste to pull a political stunt meant to shed a bad light on the president.  Wearing medical togs, they held a press conference and talked about people in medical need who are badly affected by the shutdown.  A shutdown that the GOP needlessly precipitated.  Really, how low can you go...to try to make political hay out of these stressful medical conditions.  I can't think of this low kind of propagandizing in other other way.  These people are worse than bad.  They are just rotten.  Have never felt quite so strongly before.  Republicans are doing more than just satisfying their base now.  They are creating hatred & divides that will not be forgotten.

jwarrencollins
jwarrencollins

Either way. At this point the Congress is simply refusing to do its most basic job. No doubt it will want accolades and ticker tape parades honoring its heroism when it finally gets around to doing their BASIC JOB. Meanwhile, damage is done. The Republicans can pretend to be differently conservative than Teas if they want to try to sell that crap, however the use of manufactured crisis has gone over the line now, and voters will never again reward such a party with the prize of the job of governance. The GOP will hire all kinds of PR types to spin this self trained monkey, but voters will remember. The White House will not see a GOP occupant for decades if ever again, and the House is very highly  likely lost by the GOP by 2016, and maybe even at midterm. Damage is done. Boehner, Canter, McConnell, Cruz, Gohmert, Bachman, Paul, a long list of wanna-bes that will never-be. They intentionally poisoned where they live, and the people are sick of it....and now the consequences have to be paid.... the voter is just the guy to do bring it to 'em. And they assuredly will. 

Thisdayinspace
Thisdayinspace

How is this for poetry ??? You literally can't even get the time of day right now from anyone in the U.S. Government at Www Time Gov ... the website has an "out of service due to Government shutdown" message on it

MrObvious
MrObvious

The speaker also said that it wouldn't lead to a government shutdown because that would be stupid.

Don't mind what's coming out of his mouth. I wouldn't trust a word.

Mind instead who's treating him like a hand puppet.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

Boehner - "He’s also been clear that a ‘clean’ debt hike cannot pass the House. That’s why the president and Senate Democrats should drop their ‘no negotiations’ stance, and work with us on a plan to raise the debt limit in a responsible way, with spending cuts and reforms to get our economy moving again and create jobs.”

Memo to the Speaker - psst....you're going to need to buck your Oh-So-Precious Tea Party caucus now in order to get anything passed.  The President and the Democrats should not negotiate with extortionists.  This tyranny of the minority won't stop even if they did.  Give in the them this time and the next time a bill is presented on the floor they will dig in and demand another law they don't like get scrapped.  Something like Medicare for example.  What will you do then?

Mr. Speaker, toss out the Hastert rule now and get this country headed back in the right direction.

yogi
yogi

Its all wishful thinking until he actually does it and probably wont happen now because Boehner will have to cave to conservatives.

jsfox
jsfox

Lets clear this up right away the people Boehner is willing to buck are not conservative. The are rightwing ideologues which are far removed from actual conservatives

tom.litton
tom.litton

@BobJan Most people are saying the clean CR would pass no problem in the house.  It's only Boehner that is preventing it.

tallaman87
tallaman87

@PrestonNickolasAlexander If I were Reid I would try to pass at least one budget during his tenure as majority leader of the senate. The senate has not passed a single budget under his leadership and the house is right to close it down until they do. Of course that might mean negotiating...something the Republicans are willing to do but the pres has expressly said that he will not negotiate. There's the real problem. 

j45ashton
j45ashton

@applefellup If Boehner is unwilling to see the US credit rating drop another notch and unwilling to invite economic chaos, who the devil are you to doubt the common sense of his decision.  It's redneck conservatives like you to have created this shutdown. All you're good for is anger & vulgarity,.

yogi
yogi

Alternative sub-headline: "Conservatives to Boehner: Buck You!"

PoppaCharlie
PoppaCharlie

@jsfox but they control the votes necessary for Mr. Speaker to remain Mr. Speaker.  I'm sure he wants to protest the American people from what may replace him were it come to a vote.  

Moral courage is sometimes very difficult to exercise.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@tallaman87 @PrestonNickolasAlexander President Obama has tried many times before for reaching agreement on a budget with the republican's.  His last budget proposal actually included Republican spending cuts to social security.  He has compromised as much as his supporters will allow him to (some of them will say it was too much). 

The reason why the senate hasn't passed a budget is because republican's still have a say what gets passed.  And again, the republican's are asking for far too much and giving little in return.

All that is fine.  I mean it sucks that we don't have a long term budget that brings revenue and spending more inline, but it could work itself out through elections.

PoppaCharlie
PoppaCharlie

@tallaman87 @PrestonNickolasAlexander there's negotiating and there's negotiating.  some call the underlying cause of this mess simple extortion from folks who have absolutely no incentive to be cooperative since their reelection is only imperiled if they do cooperate.

berryls
berryls

@j45ashton @applefellup This shutdown, which Boehner is responsible for completely - is the reason the US credit rating is at risk!

Spending has been reduced through sequestration.  It is not the problem.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@tallaman87 @PoppaCharlie @PrestonNickolasAlexander As i recall the democrats were desperate for any republican votes on healthcare.  They could have gotten a lot of things in it if they wanted.  But they didn't want health care reform, or at least not universal health care.  

Now of course the republican's are not offering anything of value to them, at least not on pare with legislation they spent decades trying to pass.  Why would they negotiate?  Why would anyone negotiate on that premise? 

tallaman87
tallaman87

@PoppaCharlie @tallaman87 @PrestonNickolasAlexander Well, let's see, the dems gave the repubs no opportunity to have input in the health care legislation, and the dems have not passed a budget in over six years...what are they supposed to do? They want to pass a budget but the dems won't conference with them to work out any differences the house and the senate have. Don't forget, the house is as duly elected a body of representation as the pres and the senate, and they are carrying out their constituent's desires as much as the pres and the senate, sp they all three have to work together, but the senate and the pres are not willing to.