U.S. House Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday that, despite talk of standing up to Barack Obama over the impending debt ceiling increase, the GOP is once again capitulating to his will.
The Republican leader confirmed he will back a “clean” debt bill, though many opponents find his surrender quite dirty indeed. The decision means none of the proposed ultimatums advanced by the GOP will be offered in exchange for giving Democrats even more money to spend on wasteful federal programs.
While conservatives have suggested tying a number of pressing issues – e.g. an approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and a repeal of recent military pension cuts – to the increase, Boehner’s move will give Obama exactly what he wants without requiring any concession on his part.
“He won’t negotiate,” Boehner complained. “He won’t deal with our long-term spending problems without us raising taxes.”
He explained that the Republican Party does not have enough votes to fight for even the most modest compromise, contending that “when you don’t have 218 votes, you have nothing.”
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s apocalyptic projections show that, unless the debt ceiling is raised by the end of the month, the U.S. could default on its unsustainable mountain of bills. Janet Yellen, the new Federal Reserve chair, was similarly pessimistic, calling a failure to act “catastrophic.”
Still, these economic leftists are inherently representing the will of Obama. From a conservative stance, many groups and individual leaders have pleaded with Boehner to demand some contingency from Democrats before advancing a bill.
Organizations such as the right-leaning Club for Growth have put pressure on Republican legislators to stand against Boehner’s proposal.
“Something is very wrong with House leadership,” the group said in a press release, “or with the Republican Party. This is not a bill that advocates of limited government should schedule or support.”
Once again, Boehner seems to be giving his conservative opponents more ammunition to use against him while emboldening Obama and the Democrat Party.
–B. Christopher Agee
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