Rich Galen
To kick the can down the road or not to kick the can down the road.
That is the cliché.
Whether 'tis nobler for Wall Street to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of fiscal troubles,
And by opposing a deal? To die in Committee: to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream
Of an Era of Good Feeling: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of legislative paralysis
What dreams of a balanced budget may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil.

• Ok. That’s enough Hamlet for one morning.

• Just proves that old myth about 100 monkeys sitting in a room in front of iPads or whatever it is.

• Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh) had a bill ready to go to the floor for a vote that was supposed to cut $1.2 trillion. But when the Congressional Budget Office “scored” it – which means they came up with the official amount of the budget cuts involved – it fell short of the goal with only $850 million.

• So the Speaker had to …

SIDEBAR

Is it just me? I seem to remember that when the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was always referred to as the “non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.”

I haven’t heard that non-partisan tag very much this week, but I could be wrong.

END SIDEBAR

• So the Speaker had to put 100 budget monkeys in a room with computers that can handle really, really large numbers and have them be re-crunched. A vote is now tentatively scheduled for Thursday.

• According to the Clerk of the House there are 240 Republicans; 193 Democrats; and 2 vacancies. That means it will take 217 votes (if everyone is in attendance) to guarantee passage of the Boehner plan.

• There are also, by the NY Times’ count, 85 Republican freshmen – the vast majority of whom believe they were elected to cut spending and generally rein in government.

• If none of them vote for the Boehner program that leaves only 155 votes on the GOP side of the aisle. Boehner would need 62 Democrats to vote with him and that is, to use a very technical term, unlikely.

• Say Boehner gets 20 Democrats to come along. That gets him to 175 and he would still need 42 of the 85 freshmen, about half of them, to come on board.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.