House Republicans have spent the past two weeks debating debt-ceiling proposals that have no possibility of becoming law at this time. What they discovered Thursday is that they couldn’t even get a majority of themselves to agree.
No. The vast majority of Republicans did agree. Solid Democratic opposition meant they needed near-unanimity.
The changes Boehner has been forced to make to his proposal probably will make it even more difficult for his rebellious colleagues to accept any compromise that comes over from the Senate.
So? If anything “comes over from the Senate,” it will be something that has buy-in from both parties and a lot of conservatives will not only vote against it, but be given passes by the leadership to vote against it.
If there is to be a compromise . . . it is likely to be one that badly splits the Republicans in the House. Can Boehner afford that, after what happened to him Thursday?
Yes, because the Speaker in that scenario is not going to be trying to round up almost every Republican vote, and it won’t be a test of his credibility.
Update: Jonathan Chait makes the same point.
Update 2: Balz has corrected his text (and sent me a gracious message):
House Republicans have spent the past two weeks debating debt-ceiling proposals that have no possibility of becoming law at this time. What they discovered Thursday night is that they were divided enough internally to scuttle passage of a plan that Boehner had put his prestige behind.