Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What Next?

Apparently John Boehner decided that passing the Senate Bill as it had been written was more important than stalling deliberations with amendments. Unfortunately, the majority of House Republicans did not agree with him; but fortunately he was able to pull together enough of them to join the Democrats in approving the compromise solution passed by the Senate just hours into the New Year. Since those voting in opposition were led by Eric Cantor, it will now be interesting to see whether or not Cantor decides to challenge Boehner for the position of Speaker when the new Republican caucus convenes.

Were Cantor to take over leadership, the result may not be as bad as it first sounds. It would require Obama to deal with a more adversarial representative of the House, which might encourage him to give more attention to sticks, rather than carrots. It might also split the Republican bloc, driving away those who have tried to distance themselves from the blinkered TEA Party ideology. Those moderate Republicans might find themselves with a new "independent" status that would allow them to caucus with the Democrats when the interests of those they represent would be served. Such a realignment might even lead to a more productive Congress, but we all know better than to set our hopes too high!

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