Look, people, we appear to have figured out what it takes to get House Republicans to agree on something: Having every other person on the planet scream at them for several days! The official announcement will come at 5:00, but everyone's now reporting that House Republicans will agree to the Senate's bipartisan compromise to extend the payroll tax cut and assorted other things for two months, before resuming work on the full extension in 2012.
One should never underestimate House Republicans' ability to save face after attracting the entire political world's ire, but this latest corner they've trapped themselves in over the payroll tax cut extension will require some stunningly creative moves to escape. Maybe Rick Perry can teach them some of these moves? Otherwise, yikes.
Crabby old rust sandwich John McCain took to the Senate floor today to lambast the dead-ender Tea Partiers in his own political party's House wing, who have been meeting Speaker Boehner's final debt ceiling offer with some resistance. What a saint! Let's just forget the last couple of years of McCain, now that he has criticized the extremely criticizable House Republicans.
Counselors at the youth summer camp that we know more commonly as the "House Republican Caucus of the 112th Congress" penciled in time for a movie yesterday! All of the campers were so excited to relax a little bit after pretending to be members of Congress for so long. And better yet, they got to watch an R-rated movie — without their parents' permission! Is that even legal?
There is precisely one person on Earth for whom this terrible debt ceiling debate has been a net positive: Erick Erickson, CNN political analyst and blogger at RedState.com! He's used it to portray himself as the most important person in Republican party politics, with his trenchant blog posts. Did you know that House Republicans need his permission to do anything? It's true! Our politics are just that healthy.
The world is tuning in with disbelief at House Republicans, who are still preparing to blow up everyone's precious global economy. House Republicans, meanwhile, are passing around a dumb blog post from RedState's Erick Erickson outlining supposedly good reasons for causing a Depression! Good heavens.
Oh, those House Republican freshmen. They're furious at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Democratic caucus for not passing the full $61 billion in budget cuts that they want. Why can't Senate Dems just listen to the American people, they ask, and eliminate funding for every program Democrats like? Because until this happens, 30 House Republican freshmen promise to stand on the Senate steps everyday, just straight-up making a ruckus.
It's been almost a week since House Republicans, Senate Democrats and the White House last sat down to hammer out a budget agreement, and the schedule's still blank. Accusations of bad faith are now flying from both sides. Republicans are poised to reject a White House offer, TPM has learned, that would cut over $30 billion in current spending because of disagreements over whether the package should include cuts to mandatory spending programs. Democrats are pushing for such cuts, which include the big entitlement programs, though the specific cuts they're proposing remain unclear. In an ironic twist, Republicans oppose those cuts and want to limit the negotiations to non-defense discretionary spending, a smaller subset of the federal budget.
The masters of legislative oversight who currently make up America's House Republican majority has another little beef to settle, this time with that most sinister of Washington special interests: The American Association of Retired Persons, a.k.a. the lobby for old people things. If only these geriatrics hadn't endorsed last year's health care reform law, maybe Republicans could've turned a blind eye to such corrupt practices as bribes that ensure Matlock reruns never disappear from daytime television programming. But they did endorse it, so House Republicans are planning hearings.
Next up on the House Republicans' Jobs Agenda, following a measure to defund ObamaCare, a smattering of abortion bills, and an unresolved budget dispute over ghost issues is this wonder from Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes: A bill to reaffirm "In God We Trust" as America's official motto, and to ensure that it's plastered over government buildings everywhere.
Republicans rarely miss a chance to go out of their way to stick it to the hippies and their twee environmental issues when they take power. When Ronald Reagan became president, for example, he stripped off the modest cluster of solar panels Jimmy Carter had installed on the White House roof, just to make the point that America shouldn't see its long addiction to hydrocarbons as something worth changing. And now, as part of the Tea Party Revolution, House Republicans are getting rid of the biodegradable utensils and food and drink containers that Nancy Pelosi introduced in the House cafeteria, in favor of the more traditional and evil styrofoam.