Saturday, October 17, 2015

There's a job opening

Did you happen to notice that a week ago Kevin McCarthy withdrew from campaigning for Speaker of the House of Representatives and nobody has stepped forward to ask for the job? There's a reason for that.

The Tea Party members of the House now call themselves the Freedom Caucus. They have 40 members and maybe a hundred admirers – members who don't want to make a scene yet know their constituents want them to vote the same way as the Freedom Caucus. That means there aren't enough other Republicans to get a vote for Speaker through the House.

The Freedom Caucus says they want to be heard by the leadership. But in their proposal for "more democracy" they include a list of demands. If a candidate for Speaker won't commit to these demands the Freedom Caucus refuses to vote for him. Their demands include a cut in welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs comparable to the coming increase in the debt limit, and a removal of funding for Planned Parenthood from all budget bills. Failure to meet their demands and they threaten to shut down the government and let gov't debt default.

So, yeah, nobody wants the job of Speaker. I've heard that might give John Boehner an opening to stay in the job. He had been coddling the Freedon Caucus because he was afraid they would force him out of the job of Speaker. But he has already resigned. He may have room to ignore the Freedom Caucus and craft deals with Democrats. Kick me out? Go right ahead.

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