As of 9:00pm Thursday, Speaker John Boehner did not have the necessary GOP votes to pass his debt ceiling plan.
It is disturbing that he allowed the GOP House to become the central focus of media and public attention, while President Obama and the Democrat Senate, who control 2/3 of the process, are allowed to serenely skate.
Why is the pressure on the House to solve this problem? The House already passed its own “Cut and Cap” plan and sent it to the Senate. Neither the Senate nor the President has put forth a plan in writing.
The GOP House succeeded greatly in “moving the needle” on the policy debate by taking tax increases off the table, despite great public pressure (coddling billionaires and private jet owners) from Obama and the Democrats.
Controlling only 1/3 of the process means you only have so much influence over the final outcome. When they forced the other 2/3 to back off tax increases, that was an outstanding accomplishment.
Then they passed the Cut and Cap plan. Boehner should have declared victory and sent the House home, and put the issue squarely back to where it belongs — on the Senate and Obama.
The pressure would have been on the Senate and President to come up with a chess move against Cut and Cap, but one that wouldn’t raise taxes.
Boehner made a high-stakes gamble that risks his leadership position, but also does significant damage to the Republican brand by putting the GOP in the cross-hairs of critics from the left and right, unnecessarily so.