House Republicans failed to settle on a plan to avert default and re-open the shuttered government after multiple attempts crashed at the hands of conservatives, bringing the U.S. within 30 hours of breaching the debt limit deadline.
The plan stumbled within an hour of Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel assuring reporters that “the House will vote tonight” on what was the second version that leadership had put together on Tuesday.
Conservatives scuttled it, again, and Democrats vowed to vote against it unanimously. A Rules Committee meeting aimed at fast-tracking the bill to the floor was abruptly postponed — indefinitely. Republicans conceded that the vote was probably not going to happen.
“My guess is there will not be a vote [tonight],” Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) said on CNN.
So, what’s next? “No decision has been made at this time,” said a House Republican leadership aide. “The elected leadership will meet soon.”
As I said way back when this whole current crisis started, unless there’s some Aaron Sorkin scriptwriting going on backstage, we are going to default.
Notice that I said “we.” Not the government, not the House or the Senate, not the Treasury that cuts the checks to pay the bills that are owed. We. Because this is something that we the people, either through neglect or cowardice or actual willfulness, allowed to happen. We elected all of those people running around the Capitol trying to make it to their spot for their stand-up on cable TV to get their licks in against Obamacare, against the shutdown that they caused, against whatever it is that they’re told by their minders at the Heritage Foundation to be against for this particular news cycle. (As Frank Rich chronicles, these radicals have been with us since the founding of the country.) Those folks did not get to Congress without a bunch of people somewhere in this country voting for them, which means they also had to beat someone else to win the election. This is the best of the lot?
Somewhere the spirits of the Founding Fathers are puking their guts out.