The endgame will arrive a little sooner than expected, thanks to a deal cut with John Boehner to take the first plunge on a bipartisan plan to end the budget standoff before the theoretical debt-ceiling limit gets breached.  Instead of the Senate taking up the proposal from Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell first, Boehner will allow a vote — without amendments — and have it pass with Democrats making up the difference from expected opposition from conservatives:

The House will vote first on an emerging Senate proposal to open government and lift the debt ceiling, a move that would expedite bipartisan legislation developed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

If the House passes the bill first and sends it to the upper chamber, it would eliminate some burdensome procedural hurdles in the Senate and require just one procedural roll call with a 60-vote threshold needed to advance the bill toward final passage in the Senate. It could be an extraordinarily risky play for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), because it’s far from clear any Senate proposal would garner the majority of the House Republican Conference.

It still is not assured that Congress will send President Barack Obama a bill to sign by Thursday, when the Treasury Department says the country will breach the debt ceiling. Any senator can also hold up the bill in the Senate past the Thursday deadline, but originating the legislation in the House is the fastest path toward passage for lawmakers and is a sign of urgency in the Capitol.

This was inevitable after last night’s collapse of Republican unity in the House. According to most sources, Boehner can count on the majority of his caucus to support the move, but will get pilloried by the conservative wing of the caucus.  That may mean that Boehner won’t be Speaker if Republicans retain the House after the 2014 elections, but at this point Boehner may not want the job at all.

Robert Costa wonders whether a different Republican leader might take the blame:

That’s presumably because of the filibuster, which gives the minority more leverage in the Senate.  However, this could still get delayed by Ted Cruz or Mike Lee if they don’t allow unanimous consent — but that may be why the House is going first, too.  If the House passes this deal, then it’s all over but the shouting …. and thirty more hours of shouting in the Senate won’t make much difference.  Better to live to fight another day.