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First things . . . Richard Falknor on 13 Apr 2011 10:01 pm

A Weak Deal? Is Team Boehner’s Credibility Wobbling?

SCROLL DOWN TO UPDATES: The vote itself; Hugh Hewitt; Dick Morris.

Tomorrow the House of Representatives presumably votes on the “deal” between the Obama Administration (we include Senate Majority leader Harry Reid)  and House Speaker John Boehner on the Continuing Resolution (CR) for the balance of FY 2011.

Yesterday and today, unfortunately for Speaker Boehner, budget experts have been raising serious questions about the amount of the cuts claimed in the “deal” covering the balance of this fiscal year ending September 30.

Late this afternoon, RedState chief Erick Erickson finds “That Budget Deal Some of You Love Isn’t Much of a Deal” —

And we might really need to reconsider whether or not our existing leadership has the moral authority to continue leading. They said they were all in for $100 billion. Cut it to $61 billion. Compromised at $38 billion. And now that turns out to be $353 million. This is embarrassing.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Mark Steyn sees a path “To Hell in a Gurney” (NRO) this morning —

“As was revealed yesterday re the sham budget “cuts”, the government class’s response to its fiscal fraud is to obscure it via political fraud, a sleight of hand that demonstrates utter contempt for the citizenry. If this is the best they can do, they’re ensuring that everything is going to get worse. Real worse, real poor, real fast.”(Underscoring Forum’s.)

Hugh Hewitt also this morning wonders about “Business As Usual: Will Any House Conservatives Vote For This?”

“This story from the New York Times paints a picture of a “business as usual” budget negotiation, where lobbyists are working the key players to get side deals that mean tens of millions for clients while the concerns of the conservative base and the Tea party volunteers are shunted aside.

No wonder then that the House GOP leadership faces a rising revolt against the deal, fueled by analytics from deeply respected sources that put the ‘real cuts’ at less than $14 billion.  Part of the anger is the idea that, once again, Beltway elites thought the voters who sent them could be fooled.  It is one thing to lose, another to be told you’d won by people who think you are too dense to know the difference. The ‘deal’ is now being branded as a ruse, and freshmen who vote for it risk enormous damage to their credibility.(Underscoring Forum’s.)

Team Boehner and the $23.6 Billion Now Being Spent for Obamacare?

Deeply disheartening from our perspective is the House GOP leadership’s silence on their plans to shut off the direct appropriations included in Obamacare.  What do they propose in order  to de-fang this program before 2013 (or 2017) when it becomes thoroughly entrenched?

After all, stopping Obamacare was what the House GOP was primarily elected to do.

Heritage Distinguished Fellow (and former House appropriator) Ernest Istook last month revealed

“Untouchable.  That’s the treatment being given to the $23.6 billion being spent right now to implement Obamacare.

This $23.6 billion is part of the $105.5 billion appropriated by the last Congress to fund Obamacare.  The remainder (Think of it as post-dated checks for the other $81.9 billion.) automatically becomes available between now and FY2019.

None of this is to be confused with an additional $115 billion authorized for additional appropriation to Obamacare — but which the current Congress is unlikely to provide.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Read the entire Istook post.

This morning RedState’s Erick Erickson began asking “Should House Republicans Start Thinking About Replacing Speaker Boehner?”

“The short answer is no, but I have been getting a lot of emails and phone calls into my radio show asking if the GOP should boot Boehner. . . . Boehner just seems off his game. He is advised by Barry Jackson, an amiable guy from the Bush Administration whose first major policy fight as Boehner’s Chief of Staff following the untimely death of Paula Nowakowski was to make sure support for traditional marriage got stripped from the GOP’s Pledge to Nowhere or whatever they called it. It’s been all down hill from there with the coup de grace being Harry Reid thanking Barry Jackson last week for his vital role in getting the compromise done. . . .John Boehner doesn’t need replacing, but he does need recalibrating.”

Tomorrow’s vote on H. R. 1473 may well tell us us how divided is the House GOP over the “deal.”

* * * * *

UPDATE APRIL 15: Hugh Hewitt gets it right in his “The House GOP Loses Its Way” as the “deal” went to a vote yesterday:

“What was initially trumpeted as a big win for the Speaker began to shrink under close scrutiny so that Friday’s triumph became Monday’s draw and Thursday’s defeat. Whatever the vote on the floor –and unhappy freshmen are being “whipped” hard even though this vote will create enormous political hardship for many of them– the Tea Party rallies this weekend will be trashing the deal which the Congressional Budget Office calculates will lower the spending for FY 2011 by a mere $352 million –not billion, but million– dollars. The worst part of this was not the low impact on the actual deficit or the loss of every rider of importance. The worst part was the apparent intent to mislead the conservative base about what had been accomplished, an astonishing choice in the age of new media where the Tea parties are wired through TeaPartyPatriots.com and the world of talk radio nets up the conservative activists and undecided center every day all day.”(Underscoring Forum’s.)

The House vote on the “deal” saw 59 Republicans opposing it.  NRO’s Robert Costa adds

“How about 60? According to the House record, six members missed the vote, including Rep. Louie Gohmert (R., Texas). He quickly said that he would have voted ‘no.'”

Dick Morris finds today that the “HOUSE FRESHMEN FLUNK THE FIRST TEST” – –

“Three-quarters of the freshman class of Republican Congressmen – the group that was going to change America – succumbed to party pressure and voted to accept the Boehner sellout deal he struck with President Obama. How disappointing for those of us who worked hard to elect them and vested such hopes for change in their candidacies.”

But conservative strategist Morris says – –

“Let’s salute the Congressmen who showed that they would keep their word to their voters. Freshmen Scott Rigell (Va), Steve Chabot (Ohio), Cory Gardener (Col), Morgan Griffith (Va), Andy Harris (Md), Robert Hurt (Va), Raul Labrador, Steve Pearce (NM), Scott Tipton (Col), Alan West (Fla) and Ben Quayle (Ariz).”

We believe that the Virginia Tea Partyers in Morgan Griffith’s and Robert Hurt’s districts must have been particularly persuasive.

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