House Votes to Lift the Debt Ceiling

After three years of bullshit, enough House Republicans finally voted with Democrats to pass a clean debt hike, which prompted conservatives to immediately call for the ouster of Speaker John Boehner. Looking good, Republicans!
The House passed a clean debt-ceiling hike of undetermined size on Tuesday — a vote that alienated dozens of Republicans and led one conservative group to call for the removal of Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as Speaker.

The bill was approved in a 221-201 vote, largely on the backs of Democrats. Only 28 Republicans voted for it, while 199 voted against.

...The bill suspends the debt ceiling until March 15, 2015, which will allow the government to continue borrowing above the current $17.2 trillion cap. After the suspension ends, the new debt ceiling would equal the amount of debt the government has racked up by then.

House passage sends the bill to the Senate. The upper chamber is expected to approve the bill Wednesday, again on the strength of Democratic support, but also with the support of some Republicans.
Greg Sargent observes that this outcome is "the direct result of the decision by Dems—in the last two debt limit fights—to refuse to negotiate with Republicans. That was a major course correction on Obama's part in which he learned in office from failure. After getting badly burned in the 2011 debt limit showdown—which left us saddled with the austerity that continues to hold back the recovery—Obama recognized what many of his supporters were pleading with him for years to recognize: There was no way to enter into a conventional negotiation with House Republicans."

As if to offer additional proof of their chronic unreasonableness, now Boehner's the target of their ire for being vaguely reasonable after three solid years of being stubbornly unreasonable on the debt ceiling. This story about his caucus' reaction to his decision to support the debt ceiling hike is amazing, if totally unsurprising:
The scene happened Tuesday morning at the Capitol Hill Club, where House Republicans had gathered for a private breakfast.

After listening to a handful of colleagues flatly discuss fundraising strategy for 30 minutes, Boehner stood up, walked past dozens of sleepy, coffee-sipping Republicans and tersely woke up the room with an update.

"Listen – we're going to move forward," Boehner said. Instead of bringing up the leadership's plan, which would link a restoration of recently cut military benefits to a debt-ceiling extension, he would push a "clean" bill, averting default more than two weeks before the Treasury Department's debt-limit deadline.

"We're going to get this done," Boehner continued, according to several people present for his remarks.

...Ahead of the midterm elections, Boehner argued that now is not the time to get drawn into weeks of dramatic headlines and fiscal battles with President Obama. "We're not going to make ourselves the story," he said. He spoke about the need for the party to not get mired in damaging endeavors.

Boehner's delivery was crisp; his decision was final.

The room of Republicans sat up, stunned that Boehner was abruptly shifting away from the leadership's plan... Boehner just stood there for a moment after he finished, eyed the room, and walked toward his seat. On his way there, Boehner shook his head, then turned to the nearly mute crowd and wondered aloud why he wasn't getting applause. "I'm getting this monkey off your back and you're not going to even clap?" Boehner asked, scowling playfully at some tea-party favorites.

In a second, attendees snapped back and dozens of them applauded, but there were no cheers. "There was, how do I say it, a polite golf clap," one House GOP veteran said. "But that, thank God, was the end."

...As House Republicans filed out into the cold winter air following Tuesday's breakfast, Boehner walked next door for a press conference. "Happy, happy, happy," he muttered as he entered, shrouded by Capitol Police.

...Ten minutes later, as he departed, Boehner started to sing a ditty. "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-a," he said. "Plenty of sunshine coming my way."
LOL. Even Boehner is done trying to negotiate with the Republican Party. Let's all try to remember this lesson moving forward, DEMOCRATS.

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