The Corner

The House Prepares a Response

As the Senate moves toward a vote on a modified version of the House’s continuing resolution, House Republicans are plotting a response. But nothing has been finalized, and the leadership is treading carefully.

At least that’s the message coming out of a closed-door meeting at the Capitol, where House Republican leaders huddled for an hour on Wednesday.

According to sources in the room, the leadership is trying to avert a shutdown and rally conservatives for the debt-limit battle. To do both, they plan to fight until the eleventh hour on the CR, but eventually ask Republicans to fund the government and focus on the debt limit.

It’ll be a tricky dance, and the dynamics are fluid. But here’s how my sources expect the drama to unfold: First, the House leadership will unveil its debt-limit legislation on Thursday, hoping to stoke enthusiasm in the ranks. The reason for an early rollout: the leadership doesn’t expect an immediate embrace.

As they talk up their debt-limit plan, the leadership will also try to get a CR through. After the Senate cuts out the defunding language from the House’s CR, the House will send a revised CR with another demand back to the Senate. One option is a one-year delay of Obamacare’s individual mandate, or a related health-care gambit. House Republicans will champion that revised CR, but it’ll face a quick death in the Reid-controlled Senate.

At that point, as the Monday deadline nears, the leadership will likely move to pass a clean CR in order to avoid a shutdown. To do that, they’ll need conservatives to abandon the CR and make the debt limit the battleground — a difficult task. Speaker John Boehner may even pass a short-term CR as those discussions continue, looking to buy time.

So, as one aide says, it’ll be a “ping-pong match” and show votes for a few days (or weeks), followed by some hard strategic decisions for Republicans. Boehner wants to fund the government, and he wants to push for debt-limit concessions, but he first has to balance the House’s many blocs.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

Most Popular

Elections

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More
Culture

What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1139263782142787585 Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More
Politics & Policy

On Painting Air Force One

And so it has come to this. Two oil tankers were just attacked in the Gulf of Oman, presumably by Iran. The United States and China are facing off in a confrontation that is about far more than trade. The southern border remains anarchic and uncontrolled. And Congress is asking: “Can I get the icon in ... Read More
World

Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election, and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and ... Read More