During a speech on Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner complained that President Barack Obama wants to “annihilate” the Republican Party and throw it into the “into the dustbin of history.”
Boehner, whose leadership has been criticized by conservatives, explained that House Republicans are facing a difficult stretch. “These next couple of weeks, next couple of months, frankly, the next 20 months, are going to be a very difficult period for us,” Boehner said. “While we want to stand up and fight for more fiscal responsibility, want to stand up and find a way to move tax reform that will help our economy grow, to do the things we believe in, we’re going to be doing it in an environment that is going to be far more hostile than anything that I think we’ve seen for a long, long time.”
While it’s true that there is a tumultuous political climate for Republicans as they face four more years of President Obama, Boehner and fellow House leaders are doing a bang up job of annihilating the GOP themselves.
House Republicans caved on the debt ceiling, which could have been used to educate Americans on the national debt and four straight years $1+ trillion budget deficits, and it looks as though they’re ready to cut a deal on sequestration cuts, which were temporarily postponed as part of the “fiscal cliff” agreement.
Despite overwhelming support for the Budget Control Act of 2011 from Republicans in Congress, the sequester have been railed against due to the automatic defense cuts that are supposed to take effect. House leaders have hinted that they want to substitute other discretionary spending cuts to make up for this.
However, there is a wrinkle in the plan. Now boxed into passing a budget or go without pay, Senate Democrats are going to push for another $600 billion in tax revenue in negotiations with the House:
Democratic leaders say that will be the minimum amount needed from tax reform to stop automatic spending cuts to social and defense programs mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act. The revenue would come from limiting deductions and closing loopholes and would affect only people earning above $250,000.
President Obama has set the goal that additional deficit-reduction legislation should consist of a balanced or dollar-for-dollar ratio of spending cuts to tax revenues. Schumer’s contribution is to call for a joint budget resolution as the best vehicle to accomplish this target.
The biggest obstacle will be getting House Republicans to sign on to any joint agreement that sets a target for raising taxes.
A Schumer aide acknowledged it will be difficult to get Republicans to agree to a joint budget resolution that calls for tax reform to raise $500 billion to $600 billion in new tax revenues.
Republicans, hopefully, won’t be willing to cave on taxes again like they did during the “fiscal cliff” debate. But unless Boehner and company start acting in a manner consistent with the message on which they campaign, voters are going to continue to lose their already low-faith in the Republican Party.