July 9, 2011


Debt limit deal a key moment for John Boehner (JOHN BRESNAHAN & JAKE SHERMAN, 7/8/11, Politico)

Even Boehner’s closest friends and allies in the House admit the stakes are huge on the biggest stage of Boehner’s political life, signalling that the 60-year-old Ohio Republican has reached a pivotal moment of his speakership.

“He’s playing for historic stakes,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a one-time Boehner rival who now finds himself a top cheerleader of the speaker. “What he’s trying to accomplish will literally change the fiscal trajectory of the country.”

“The road is filled with political landmines” for Boehner, added Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), a Boehner ally. “But the folks who are running around saying he shouldn’t negotiate with Obama, that isn’t the way the Founders set up the government. If you only have one side making demands and the other side caves in, that’s not negotiations, that’s a surrender. And I don’t think this president surrenders.”

In interviews, several GOP lawmakers said any “grand bargain” must not include any tax increases - or even provisions that can be construed as tax increases - or rank-and-file Republicans will turn against it.

“There can’t be any hint of a tax increase,” said Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.). “The last thing we can do is raise taxes.”

Getting the support of his top lieutenant, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), has emerged as a major challenge for Boehner. Cantor told Obama during Thursday’s bipartisan-bicameral meeting that a large-scale deal can’t pass the House. He and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) are both pushing for a “middle” package that includes $2.4 trillion in spending cuts and no new tax revenues.

...and the radicals are pikers.

Posted by at July 9, 2011 5:58 AM

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