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10 Takeaways From the Fiscal Fight (by NPR)

10 Takeaways From the Fiscal Fight (by NPR)

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Boehner's Speakership Rises And Falls
A corollary to House Republicans being adrift is the state of Boehner's speakership. It's a tale of two Boehners, actually. Inside his conference, Boehner strengthened his hand by allowing the Tea Party faction to drive the House GOP strategy. Those Tea Party members have praised Boehner for his handling of the shutdown-debt ceiling fight, making a challenge to his speakership unlikely. But Boehner's hand is weaker outside his conference, compared with Obama and Reid, which could have real consequences in negotiations with Democrats. And with voter approval of congressional Republicans bumping the bottom, it will be hard for him to argue that Republican positions widely reflect Americans' wishes.
Boehner's Speakership Rises And Falls
A corollary to House Republicans being adrift is the state of Boehner's speakership. It's a tale of two Boehners, actually. Inside his conference, Boehner strengthened his hand by allowing the Tea Party faction to drive the House GOP strategy. Those Tea Party members have praised Boehner for his handling of the shutdown-debt ceiling fight, making a challenge to his speakership unlikely. But Boehner's hand is weaker outside his conference, compared with Obama and Reid, which could have real consequences in negotiations with Democrats. And with voter approval of congressional Republicans bumping the bottom, it will be hard for him to argue that Republican positions widely reflect Americans' wishes.

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Published by: Joseph "Yosi" Fischer on Oct 17, 2013
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04/09/2014

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637 S. Victory Blvd.|Burbank, CA 91502|Phone:(818)567-4400 | Fax:(818)567-4401www.fhofficesystems.com
 
 10 Takeaways from the fiscal fight 
by
FRANK JAMES
October17,201311:12AMSpeaker of the House Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks past reporters after a meeting with HouseRepublicans on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. House Republicans backed down and passed legislation to end thegovernment shutdown and avoid a debt default.
 Evan Vucci/AP
With the double crises of a partial government shutdown and a potential debt defaultresolved, it's a good time to consider some of the lessons we learned from the dysfunctionand drama of recent weeks.Here are 10 of them:
Shutting Down The Government Is Not A Winning Political Strategy
Once again, the GOP brand was hurt because of a failure to learn from past mistakes.Republicans were warned before this shutdown that it could seriously hurt the party'sapproval ratings, as it did during the last shutdown showdown, in 1996. Many Republicansconvinced themselves that this time was different. It wasn't. Most Americans likegovernment more than they let on.
Obama Wasn't Bluffing
This time the president meant it when he said he wasn't going to let Republicans usegovernment shutdowns or potential debt defaults to pressure him into making policychanges. Obama had actuallysignaledhisshiftlong before the current fight. But his messageeither wasn't heard clearly by enough of the right people or they expected him to blink first.
The House GOP Is Ungovernable
The wheels have truly come off the House Republican Conference. The GOP-controlledHouse was already one of the least productive in recent history largely because of Speaker
 
637 S. Victory Blvd.|Burbank, CA 91502|Phone:(818)567-4400 | Fax:(818)567-4401www.fhofficesystems.com
 
John Boehner's difficulty in getting a majority of votes on controversial legislation from hisfractured group. The two-week shutdown just furthers the perceptionof a caucus in disarrayand raises real questions about how the House will be able to move major legislation like animmigration overhaul or budget bills.
Boehner's Speakership Rises And Falls
A corollary to House Republicans being adrift is the state of Boehner's speakership. It's a taleof two Boehners, actually. Inside his conference, Boehner strengthened his hand by allowingthe Tea Party faction to drive the House GOP strategy. Those Tea Party members havepraised Boehner for his handling of the shutdown-debt ceiling fight, making a challenge tohis speakership unlikely. But Boehner's hand is weaker outside his conference, comparedwith Obama and Reid, which could have real consequences in negotiations with Democrats.And with voter approval of congressional Republicans bumping the bottom, it will be hardfor him to argue that Republican positions widely reflect Americans' wishes.
The Hastert Rule Really Isn't One
It took the current crisisfor Republican Dennis Hastert, the former House speaker, to say itwas justcommonsense,notanactualrule. As speaker, you want to make sure a majority of 
 
your party supports legislation before you bring it to the House floor. But if it takes votesfrom the other party to pass important bills, so be it. Boehner and Hastert don't talk, soHastert couldn't apparently tell Boehner this directly.
The Senate Emerges Enhanced
Well, at least in contrast to a weaker House. By once again arriving at a deal to avertfinancial disaster after an abysmal House failure, as it has done several times now, the Senateis clearly the more functional of the two chambers. Of course, that's a relative term.
Sen. Mitch McConnell Isn't Panicking
Cutting a deal to end the impasse with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid? Maybe theKentucky senator and minority leader isn't as frightened by his Tea Party-backed primarychallenger, Matt Bevin, as people think. McConnell's last minute efforts toward compromisesuggest McConnell could be looking past Bevin and toward the general election contest withAlison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic Kentucky secretary of state who's raising lots of money and polling competitively against him.
Sen. Ted Cruz Is Running For President In 2016
The Texas senator would be a strong contender for the Tea Party presidential nomination if there were one. But as the leading proponent of the strategy of shutting down the governmentin an effort to gut the Affordable Care Act, he's reduced his general election appeal. Indeed,theHoustonChronicle, which endorsed him for Senate, now has buyer's remorse.
The Hard-Liners May Have Gone Too Far
Even some conservative Republicans have had just about enough of the hard-line Tea Partymembers. And they're speaking out. Consider Rep.Charles Boustany, R-La., whotoldtheNationalJournalthat Tea Party lawmakers' "allegiance is not to the members in theconference. Their allegiance is not to the leadership team and to conservative values. Theirallegiance is to these outside Washington DC interest groups that raise money and go afterconservative Republicans."
How To Blow A Golden Political Opportunity
The irony of the fiscal fight is that the story of the terribly botched Affordable Care Actrollout has been buried by the shutdown and debt ceiling news. The lesson? If you want tolift the curtain on a monumentally glitchy major project like the enrollment process forhealth insurance under the Affordable Care Act, you'd be wise to wait until the nation iswildly distracted by a government shutdown and potential debt default.

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