Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) made sure to toast Barack Obama one last time before leaving office, and roast conservatives in the process.
On Wednesday evening, Boehner rammed through a so-called “clean” continuing resolution – “clean” because it contains continued funding for Planned Parenthood – with more Democratic votes than Republican votes. Fully 151 Republicans voted against the continuing resolution, with only 91 supporting it; all Democrats in the House supported the continuing resolution.
The House vote followed a Senate vote pushed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in which 20 Republicans voted no, but 78 Senators voted yes including all Democrats. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) skipped the vote.
What comes next? The current continuing resolution only funds the government through December 11. Democrats undoubtedly want to watch another fun-filled Republican infight before the end of the year, but Boehner will not want to give it to them: he wants, instead, to sign off on a budget that would take Republicans beyond the 2016 election. Such a move would help cut off the candidacy of insurgent Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) at the knees, given his proclivity for using his power in the Senate to fight against President Obama’s spending agenda. Furthermore, Boehner could use the final arrow in his quiver to take Obama’s budgeting through the end of his presidency, knowing full well that he won’t have to receive the blowback.
Republican establishment types will no doubt label Boehner a hero for pushing a measure against a majority of his own party. But then again, they’re the same losers who throw up their hands and sigh repeatedly as Barack Obama enacts each and every item in his agenda. After all, they say, what can Republicans truly be expected to do without total power?
The answer: fight using the weapons at their disposal. But the establishment lacks the courage of basic conviction, and so legislative weapons will remain shelved. After all, the Republican strategy of pre-emptive surrendering followed by splenetic howling has gained them enough power to do nothing.