I’ll admit that Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner’s sudden display of steel is quite becoming.
It’s nice to have so many of your House colleagues on board with a plan so that you can say what you really think — at least I hope it’s what he really thinks — of the ultra-conservative interest groups that have taken your Republican caucus hostage for the past three years.
The House approved this week by a 332-94 margin a budget deal brokered by a committee chaired by tea party darling Rep. Paul Ryan and his Democratic Senate colleague Patty Murray. A few hardliners held out against the deal, which heads off a government shutdown, strikes down much of the mandated budget cuts created by sequestration and cuts the deficit a little bit over the next decade.
One guy who I feared might vote “no,” my own congressman Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, actually voted in favor of the deal. His West Texas colleague, Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, stuck with his do-nothing approach to government and cast a negative vote. I am not surprised Neugebauer wouldn’t sign on; after all, he was the guy who scolded a National Park Service employee for doing her job — at Congress’s orders — when she refused to let tourists into the World War II Memorial in D.C. during the government shutdown in October.
Boehner now has taken the gloves off, more or less, in calling out folks like the Club for Growth and Heritage Action, who oppose any deal that results from compromising with Democrats. He says they’ve “lost credibility.”
I’m kind of hoping that Boehner, who I believe at heart is a decent guy with good-government instincts, finally is realizing that as the Man of the House he has the power to get things done and that he doesn’t need to buckle under to the pressure brought by factions within his party.
As the Washington Post notes, he has clawed his way back on top “for now.”