This isn’t the most glamorous story, but I think it’s a big defeat for Boehner:
House Republicans tried a fresh strategy Wednesday night: Go it alone on a spending bill.
The result was an embarrassing setback.
Wednesday night’s rank-and-file rebuke of GOP leadership — with 48 Republicans bolting on a temporary spending bill — underscored the fact that the House Republican majority is still struggling to find unity on major spending bills. It also showed they still need Democratic votes to help them govern.
The pressure from an angry Speaker John Boehner didn’t work — he even threatened to strip committee assignments. Four dozen Republicans —mostly conservatives — wanted more cuts, and they just said no, creating an uncomfortable scene on the House floor as the funding bill failed on a 195-230 vote. Democrats showed a rare moment of unity in overwhelmingly opposing the continuing resolution, which would keep the government funded through Nov. 18.
What happened was this: tehadists voted against the bill because they vote against all spending bills, Democrats voted against the bill because it cut money from a successful auto loan program in order to juggle the numbers and make the bill closer to revenue neutral. The program was popular and Rep. Gary Peters was able to rally support for it, and against the bill that would have cut it.
I realize this is all a bit “Inside Baseball” but it’s significant. It shows that when Democrats show united opposition in the House, Boehner’s in trouble, because he can’t get the teahadists to vote for much of anything.