The House of Representatives is going home, without doing their jobs. After having wasted months, even years, of work, Speaker of the House John Boehner has failed to perform his duties to protect the United States and its Constitution, and our government has become, officially, the true “Do Nothing Congress.” Under his stewardship, the House Republicans have finished their transition from a powerful minority party to a hyper-partisan example of gridlock, impotently flailing about without being able to function.
Despite positive signs earlier today, Congress failed to close the deal not because it was a bad deal, but because the Republican Party refused to do their jobs yet again.
The deal would have guaranteed tax cuts for 99.8% of taxpayers, guaranteed spending cuts in a more controlled manner without hurting the least among us, and while not a perfect deal, it would have been a compromise deal that would have satisfied most people. Instead, in a matter of hours, all of it is over and we go over the fiscal cliff. Everyone’s tax rates skyrocket, unemployment benefits for millions end, and budget cuts affect virtually all branches of government. It becomes a fiscal cliff.
And the only person to blame for this is John Boehner. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spent today negotiating with Vice President Joe Biden. House leaders on both sides were willing to deal. The only person to hold it up, in the end, is the Speaker of the House, who wasted his political capital, and his time, engaging in deals that he knew would never even come to a vote. He wasted everyone’s time and now we all will pay the price.
And now Boehner is about to pay the piper, as reports circulate that his speakership is now in question. While several names have been put forward, now one name has stepped up in the middle of these negotiations to dismantle them. A clear sign of trouble from within, as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is now positioning himself to undermine, if not replace John Boehner entirely.
Welcome to the other side of the fiscal cliff.
Nathaniel Downes is the son of a former state representative of New Hampshire, now living in Seattle Washington.
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