Newspaper article International New York Times

By Yielding, Boehner May Have Blocked Tea Party

Newspaper article International New York Times

By Yielding, Boehner May Have Blocked Tea Party

Article excerpt

In so doing, the speaker of the House avoided another protracted, public battle within the party and, more important, steered the government away from a potentially crippling default.

On Tuesday, after extended discussions with his Republican troops on other matters, the speaker of the House, John A. Boehner, stood up to change the subject. He told the House Republicans that he would put to a vote a measure to raise the government's borrowing limit, without preconditions.

After what one member described as "stunned silence," the speaker quipped, "I'm getting this monkey off your back, and you're not going to even clap?"

The applause he coaxed was grudging, but most members understood that their leader was taking the arrows from their right flank that could have been headed for them.

Conservative activists, including Tea Party groups, immediately began circulating petitions to end Mr. Boehner's speakership. But ultimately, rather than weakening his control of the House, he may have strengthened it.

Mr. Boehner avoided another protracted, public battle within the party and, more important, steered the government away from a potentially crippling default. He did so without forcing most of his members to vote for a politically painful increase in the debt ceiling.

Only for the fifth time since January 2013, Mr. Boehner effectively turned the floor of the House over to Democrats to secure must-pass legislation. The vote Tuesday to lift the debt ceiling -- by 221 to 201 -- relied almost entirely on Democrats, the first debt-ceiling increase since 2009 not attached to other legislation.

Simply by holding the vote, Mr. Boehner effectively ended a three- year Tea Party-inspired era of budget showdowns that had raised the threat of default and government shutdowns, rattled economic confidence and brought serious scrutiny from other nations questioning Washington's ability to govern.

Taken along with the Senate's expected passage of the measure Wednesday, it ended a prolonged period of brinkmanship in which the threat of a default on the nation's debt was used to wring concessions from President Obama. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.