Monday, October 14, 2013

GOPers sole owners of shutdown fiasco

I've been holding this post for days so it wouldn't get lost in the holiday weekend slump. Gratefully, it's finally picking up some steam. As this video of debate on the shutdown from the House floor makes clear, the shutdown (and now the pending debt default) was, and is, solely a construct of House Republicans.

The video sparked enough clicks over the weekend to finally give the story some legs with BigMedia. Jake Tapper is the first BigTV coverage I've seen with this blog report on his The Lead blog:
That said, van Hollen continues, “On October 1st, the R's passed a Rule to change the Standing Rules of the House so only Cantor or his designee could bring up Senate bill for a vote. I am told that we never played with this Rule when we were last in Majority and we are looking into the earlier history of this matter. In other words, they shut down the government and then changed the House Rules to keep it shut down.”
I suggested he should make this lead segment on the actual teevee program because, the people need to know. No reponse but maybe he'll take it that far. One lives in hope. Meanwhile, here's the original post I wrote:

GOP rejects Tea Party Caucus

Establishment GOP finally reached the point where the Tea Party's brew is just too toxic to swallow anymore. Party stalwarts are rushing to denounce their former compadres in "fiscal responsibility" as crackpots who don't understand how government works. Meanwhile, Sen. Bob Corker and Rep. Peter King assure us the "moderate Republicans" are going to pass a clean CR by the end of next this week. King, who has his eye on a 2016 run for President, went big on promising an end to the Tea Party hostage strategy:
A potential spending resolution without changes in government policy will “pass overwhelmingly,” King said. House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, “has the leverage he needs, and I think it’s going to come to the House floor, no matter what.”

If Boehner doesn’t bring a measure to the floor, King said, he would support a discharge petition, in which a majority of the House can force the chamber to vote on a bill. Eighteen Republicans would have to join all 200 Democrats to compel the House to vote on opening the government, partially shuttered since Oct. 1, without conditions.
Maybe he should check with leadership before he makes that promise. In what should have been the biggest news in BigMedia this week (and instead was barely mentioned) House GOPers guaranteed the shutdown by changing the rules. You have to read the link to get how convoluted this ploy was but here's the gist:
Under normal House rules, according to House Democrats, once that bill had been rejected again by the Senate, then any member of the House could have made a motion to vote on the Senate's bill. Such a motion would have been what is called "privileged" and entitled to a vote of the full House. At that point, Democrats say, they could have joined with moderate Republicans in approving the motion and then in passing the clean Senate bill, averting a shutdown.
However, that's normal procedure and there's nothing normal about Boehner's House of Dysfunction. When the Democrats tried to evoke the discharge petition to avoid the shutdown, this happened:
But the House Rules Committee voted the night of Sept. 30 to change that rule for this specific bill. They added language dictating that any motion "may be offered only by the majority Leader or his designee."

So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn't going to happen. And it didn't.
This should have been on the front page of every newspaper and the lead story in every broadcast. But "many Republicans say" it's Obama's fault -- so -- BigMedia will just as soon leave it there. Because, to paraphrase John Harris of Politico, there's no market for boring facts. The big money is in gossip, speculation and manufactured outrage.

Which is why our government is in such a mess in the first place. The people can't hold their elected representatives responsible unless they know what exactly they're doing. That used to be the media's job. Until it wasn't.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home