Why Won’t John Boehner Give HR 1297 A Vote?
Editorial Note: As mentioned below, there is late breaking news that the GOP and Democrat may have reached a deal for $38 billion in cuts and another continuing resolution. No word yet on if the Defense budget will be fully funded in the deal.UPDATE: I’m told that the Speaker’s Office does not think there is a firm deal yet, which makes passage of HR 1297 all the more important.UPDATE 2: The Senate has 60 votes for HR 1297 right now. The House wants to move H.R. 1363, which would fund the entire Department of Defense instead of just making sure troops get paid during a shutdown.————-HR 1297 is a measure drafted by Reps. Gohmert of Texas and Kingston of Georgia to ensure the military will get paid even if there is a shutdown.Senator Hutchison has the corresponding measure in the Senate with 50 co-sponsors.Because it is an appropriations matter, it had to start in the House.The Speaker and leadership have not let it come to a vote. In fact, one source I spoke to said freshmen congressmen had been told military pay needed to be addressed in the continuing resolution.That’s not true if HR 1297 passes.Senate sources tell me that the matter would be handled expeditiously in the Senate if the House would just pass it, thereby putting the burden on Barack Obama to either pay the troops or hold them hostage to a shutdown.With news breaking right now that there may be a deal for cuts around $38 billion, it seems the matter may not be necessary. But this is key — if the House would pass HR 1297, it would free up conservatives to fight for more cuts without a threat of not paying troops.Of course, that might mean the compromise of only $38 billion gets shot down by conservatives if the conservatives know the troops are spared.The House should pass HR 1297 and get it to the Senate today.