Perhaps the only certainty going forward is that any proposal will require a substantial amount of Democratic support to pass. So it’s not surprising that Boehner rounded out a busy day last Friday with an under-the-radar meeting with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.). One aide says Obama should be able to convince a lot of House Democrats to support a deal if needed. Still, given the opposition within his caucus, and the still-simmering fallout from the CR, it is hard to see how Boehner can politically survive another mass conservative defection.
The speaker has referred to the McConnell plan as a “last-ditch effort” that “might look pretty good a couple of weeks from now” if no other agreement is reached. But at the moment, he insists, “We’re far from the time for a last-ditch effort.”
President Obama declared a July 22 deadline by which he wants Congress to reach a deal, and it was revealed on Monday that he held a covert meeting with Boehner and House majority leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) over the weekend. GOP House aides concede that passing any version of the McConnell plan will be extremely difficult, and insist that “Cut, Cap, and Balance” is their sole priority this week.
But once that vote has been cast, how does this all play out? NRO posed the question to a senior House GOP aide. The response: “I don’t know.”
— Andrew Stiles is a 2011 Franklin Fellow.