One thing the payroll tax cut fight has given us is a big fracture in the GOP. Here’s a couple of quotes that caught my eye:
Rep. Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican whom Boehner picked to be on the conference committee, summed up the beating his caucus had taken when he said, “I am willing to fight on, but in the end House Republicans felt like they were re-enacting the Alamo, with no reinforcements and our friends shooting at us.”
Brady isn’t alone either:
After the deal was announced, Rep. Dennis Ross sent a flurry of angry tweets expressing his distaste for backroom dealmaking among party leaders. In an interview with Roll Call, the Florida Republican said that he would not obstruct the unanimous consent vote but that he thought the House should have voted on the McConnell-Reid plan earlier this week after the Senate passed it.
“At least we would have let the process work as it was intended to,” Ross said. “Sure, the Speaker would have been upset because he did not have all his Republicans on board, and we would have had to do some damage control on that. Instead we tried to preserve ourselves by not having a ‘no’ vote on lowering taxes.
“It’s very frustrating,” he added. “And of course we get blamed by our own party, saying we just don’t know how Washington works.”
The House Republicans would have done much better allowing the vote and taking the fallout from being seen as voting against a tax cut, but instead John Boehner took a big gamble and he lost. It really makes you wonder if Boehner will be able to hold on as Speaker after this serious exposure of his lack of leadership skills. Only time will tell, but the GOP picking a new Speaker wouldn’t shock me one bit.