UPDATED – Paul Ryan will save us
so, what have we learned? Cruz didn’t have a plan, House GOP is starting to waver, and the only thing between us and a “clean CR” that passes with Dems and a few RINOs is… omfg, Boehner.
Does’t look good. Also, the new talking point about how the shutdown is actually Reid’s fault would be better if we hadn’t been convincing ourselves earlier that a shutdown* is a good thing anyway.
So everything points to suck. But I am actually really hopeful because at long last, the Badger rises:
Paul Ryan, the former Republican vice-presidential nominee and Wisconsin congressman, has been a quiet presence on Capitol Hill during the shutdown. He hasn’t been a major force during closed-door conference meetings, and he’s not doing a ton of press. But that doesn’t mean he’s a silent player. In fact, according to several top House Republicans, it’s Ryan, more than anyone, who’s now shaping the leadership’s internal thinking, especially when it comes to mapping out a strategy for the upcoming debt-limit battle.
Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor trust Ryan; he’s an essential, if unofficial, member of the leadership team; and they’re looking for him to guide them on any emerging deal. As Boehner and Cantor manage the day-to-day messaging on the shutdown — small-ball CR votes – it’s Ryan’s who helping them with the big picture before the bipartisan talks inevitably begin.
Ryan’s allies say he’s not a fan, at all, of using the CR as a political battleground, and he’s selling this point behind the scenes. His view, they add, is that the CR standoff is clearly not going to end with a “clean” funding bill, so instead of encouraging that impossible dream, it’s time to plot out a viable next step — and that means swallowing hard, enduring the shutdown showdown, and moving toward a broader budget deal. “That’s what I think we need: a forcing action to bring two parties together,” Ryan told reporters earlier this week.
“I want to get a budget agreement,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told POLITICO on Wednesday. “That’s what we’ve been about all along. So yeah, we think the issues are converging — [the continuing resolution] and debt limit — and from the get-go, we wanted to get a budget agreement to grow this economy and get this debt under control, especially before the Federal Reserve starts raising interest rates. I think it’s in our nation’s interest to do that. And that’s one of the things we’re fighting for in addition to relief from Obamacare — or fairness from Obamacare.”
Ryan has discussed his goals on the debt ceiling at a Ways and Means meeting of Republicans. One senior Republican leadership source said this strategy, which has been bantered about at the top levels for some time, would be the “way out of the cul-de-sac.”
Boehner, who has longed for a massive budget agreement, has spoken about it with members in recent days, according to sources. And an aide described him as “aggressively open-minded” about how to solve the CR and debt ceiling. Boehner and Ryan have both publicly and privately talked about using sequester spending levels as a negotiating tool to entice Obama to negotiate.
Its pretty brilliant. We don’t want a clean CR and we also have the debt fight coming up – and Ryan is right, the only real leverage we have over Obama (since he will veto defunding obamcare even if it made it through the Senate) is the sequester. So it’s time for a grand bargain.
Ryan is really the only guy with the policy chops to see this thing through and actually end up on the other side with something good for the country instead of what will happen otherwise if the GOP just folds like a cheap suit as is inevitable. We need to get SOMETHING for all this pain and that’s Ryan’s vision.
Most importantly – he points out that Obama is BLUFFING on refusing to negotiate over the debt ceiling. Thats something we have to hold on to.
* had a typo here where i wrote an i instead of a u lol
I asked Ryan if he believes President Obama’s steadfast vows that he won’t negotiate over the debt ceiling. His reaction? You’ve got to be kidding me.
“Oh, nobody believes that. Nobody believes that. He himself negotiated Bowles Simpson on the debt limit with Democrats. That was Kent Conrad’s requirement. He himself negotiated the Budget Control Act with the debt limit. Graham Rudman. Bush Andrews Airforce Base. Clinton Gore ‘97. All of those major budget agreements were debt limit agreements. I see this time as no different and I believe he does too. I think most people believe he’s just posturing for now,” he says.