Did Boehner Just Lose Leverage?

by Rich Lowry

Democrats are crowing that Boehner lost crucial leverage in the budget showdown yesterday, and they may be right. It took Democratic votes to get the short-term CR out of the House, which means Boehner will probably need Democratic votes to get anything that’s not the maximalist package of cuts and policy riders (which we’d obviously all want in the abstract). Even if he passes that kind of package out of the House, it won’t get through the Senate and Boehner will need a Plan B. That will presumably bring him right back to needing Democrats. This means the Democrats will probably be able to make any eventual deal worse than it would have been otherwise. The other alternative is to pass the maximalist package and hope–I use that word advisedly since the media is not going to be helpful, to say the least–to win a shutdown fight.