John Boehner’s House of Representatives was supposed to vote on his plan to reduce spending and raise the debt ceiling this evening, but it seems he doesn’t have the votes. Mr. Boehner is Speaker of the House and leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives and yet it seems he cannot wrangle enough votes to pass his ill-begotten plan. It ain’t for lack of trying…
House Republican leaders delayed a white-knuckle vote Thursday evening on legislation designed to ease the nation’s debt crisis, and they began hauling wavering lawmakers into private offices in an apparent scramble to lock down the last votes needed for passage.
Aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the chamber would vote “this evening” on a bill to increase the federal debt limit in two stages, in exchange for major spending cuts. The aides did not provide a new timetable for the vote, which had been expected around 6 p.m. Thursday.
Instead, the House suddenly took up a series of non-controversial measures, leaving befuddled lawmakers debating whether to rename a post office in Hawaii before finally going into recess for an indefinite time.
At 10 p.m. Republican leaders were still advising members to stay close by the Capitol in preparation for a vote. But the regular delivery of towers of pizza boxes to congressional offices hinted that such a vote was not close at hand.
In the wake of the postponement, several Republicans from South Carolina were brought into Speaker John A. Boehner’s suite on the second floor of the Capitol. But leaders made no headway with them. Two lawmakers — Reps. Jeff Duncan and Mick Mulvaney — left the office and went into a nearby chapel, telling reporters they were praying over the matter and for their leadership.
Rep. Tim Scott (S.C.), a liaison to leadership for the freshmen class, said he was still opposed to the legislation. He added that leaders have told him they are on the brink of securing the 217 votes needed, but still just short.
“I hear three votes, four votes, it’s very close. They’re only a handful away,” he said.
Scott then joined Duncan and Mulvaney in the chapel. About 45 minutes later, they emerged and headed downstairs to the first-floor offices of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), where Boehner,Cantor and McCarthy were waiting.
Remember that these people work for us. We pay them. They are wasting all this time on our dime. They know full well that the plan they are fighting so desperately to pass in the House will be dead on arrival in the Senate. They know this and yet they continue to waste
their our time. They could be using this time looking for a sensible and realistic solution to the debt ceiling question rather than spending all this time protecting their own bloodied egos.
I think we need some new employees.
UPDATE (via TPM): House Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) just announced there will be no vote tonight on the Boehner debt bill.
We’re getting our money’s worth out of these guys, aren’t we? (At least what our money is likely to be worth at this time next week.)