John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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The Armageddon Caucus

Posted on October 28, 2015
Marco Rubio has Chutzpa

Marco Rubio has Chutzpa



It takes a special amount of chutzpa to never show up to the Senate for any votes and then complain that when the Leadership puts together a budget deal that you weren’t properly consulted.

But that’s the position that Marco Rubio finds himself in.

And he is not alone. Two other Prancing Ponies of the Senate, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, are similarly loudly denouncing the deal put together by John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Barack Obama.

Paul promises to filibuster the bill, hoping upon hope that it might give him an opportunity to make some positive news for a campaign that is floundering.   Floundering is being charitable.

Senator McConnell is urging his home-state colleague to pack it in on his Presidential campaign and start focusing on his Senate seat. You have to wonder why the Leader is so eager to keep Mr. Paul in the Upper Chamber. It’s not like he has done anything productive in his five years here.

McConnell, unlike Cruz, is a team-player. Cruz is most decidedly not.

Rush Limbaugh said on the air that plenty of “establishment” Republicans would rather see Hillary Clinton win than the Junior Texas Senator.

That may or may not be true. What is certainly true is if Clinton faced off against Cruz in a general election, despite all of her flaws, the Republican party would face an electoral tsunami of epic proportions. If there is anything worse than a Hillary Clinton Presidency, it is a Clinton Presidency with Chuck Schumer as Majority Leader and Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House.

You want to see real change? That would be real change, and it would be bad.

Is this the best budget deal ever constructed? No, probably not.

But it’s not the worse either.

It doesn’t raise taxes, for example.

It modestly increases the budget caps so that the Congress can get its appropriations work done. It increases defense spending, which is necessary, given that the President is intent on hollowing out our military. All of this is paid for with changes to mandatory spending. It’s a gimmick but I have seen worse.

It postpones the debt limit for a couple years, which is a huge victory for Republicans who tend to always lose those fights. It’s also a huge victory for the economy, which just doesn’t need these political disruptions right now.

Could the Speaker have cut a better deal? Maybe, but only if the GOP conference had stuck together. But thanks to hardliners, that has proven to be an impossible task.

The Tea Party wing of the party forced Boehner out of his job, but he is getting the last laugh by actually governing.

The debt limit is not negotiable. It’s not something that inexperienced Members of Congress should play around with. We don’t know what will happen if we don’t pay the payments on our debts, but we do know that we won’t have money for Social Security checks or to pay our military.

We do know that the stock market would crash and that our tottering economy would be pushed into a recession.

The Tea Party/Freedom Caucus said it wouldn’t vote to extend the debt limit under any circumstances. They might think that economic Armageddon is a nice place to visit, but for the rest of us, I prefer Members who get something done.

Members who refuse to vote in favor of governing shouldn’t expect to be included in any negotiations that have anything to do with governing.

And if you don’t show up to vote, you probably shouldn’t complain too much when the Senate moves on without you.

As for Ted Cruz, please don’t get me started.