Eric Cantor and John Boehner’s Premature Discharge Problem
Eric Cantor and John Boehner are out today spinning furiously that their discharge petition is better than Steve King’s discharge petition.Except there is a fundamental flaw: they have a premature discharge problem.No, premature discharge is not a problem that can be cured with a pill.In order to have a discharge petition, the legislation to be discharged — that is forced to the floor of the House of Representatives whether or not the Speaker wants it — must have been submitted for some time before a discharge petition is timely.To file a discharge petition before the legislation to be discharged has “ripened”, so to speak, does not work — it is prematurely discharged.Well, Eric Cantor and John Boehner really don’t want to deal with a “repeal Obamacare” discharge petition. So they signed it thinking it would give them the cover they needed to undermine it.While signing Steve King’s discharge petition, Cantor and Boehner also set about getting signatures on Representative Wally Herger’s competing discharge petition for legislation that would not just repeal Obamacare, but would also replace it with something else — something not everyone on the GOP side even wants.Guess what? Herger’s legislation has not ripened. Were Cantor and Boehner to get 218 signatures for Herger’s petition tomorrow, it would do no good.Contrast that with Steve King’s discharge petition. Rep. King’s related legislation has been out since Obamacare passed the Senate. Senator Jim DeMint has already filed the companion legislation in the Senate.If Rep. King got 218 votes tomorrow, his legislation, unlike the other, could be sent to the floor for a vote and Obamacare would have enough votes in the House to have it repealed.But Eric Cantor and John Boehner don’t really want that to happen. They want to muddy the water and divide their own house.