Is Boehner's Success Good News?

by Jonathan Cohn | July 28, 2011

As of this writing, it looks like House Speaker John Boehner has the Republican votes to get his deficit reduction proposal out of the House. Should progressives welcome this development -- say, because it means a debt ceiling deal is likely to pass sooner rather than later? Or bemoan it, as it will put the Republicans in a stronger negotiating position for the legislative endgame?

I really have no idea, so I e-mailed some Capitol Hill staffers more experienced in these matters than I am. Here's what one reliable source, a senior Democratic aide, wrote back:

I can see it both ways-
Good:
- It will demonstrate a level of sanity not previously assumed from that body that bodes well for reaching a final agreement.
- It will severely piss off their Tea Party crowd which will diminish the political fervor to support Republicans.
Bad:
- It will increase their leverage somewhat.
- It will unify them and strengthen Boehner.
- It will make them look more reasonable politically.

Maybe my uncertainty is the right reaction after all.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-cohn/92816/boehner-debt-bill-strategy-house-senate