Collapse: Pelosi says Boehner doesn’t have the votes for cromnibus after GOP leaders delay final vote; Update: Dems bail out Boehner, help pass cromnibus, 219-206

posted at 4:01 pm on December 11, 2014 by Allahpundit

I could have sworn the parties had a deal two days ago. But that was before lefty heroes like Elizabeth Warren and Barney Frank weighed in against the bill because of how it would roll back parts of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Two days later, Pelosi’s walking away.

Dear Democratic Colleague,

It is clear from this recess on the floor that the Republicans don’t have enough votes to pass the CRomnibus.  This increases our leverage to get two offensive provisions of the bill removed: the bank bailout and big money for campaigns provision.

However you decide to vote in the end, I thank those who continue to give us leverage to improve the bill.

Stay tuned.


Boehner got no Democratic yays for the test vote earlier today, but that was before the White House formally endorsed the deal. Maybe Pelosi feared that Obama’s support would free a few centrist Dems to lend Boehner a hand in getting to 218 and she felt she had to warn them they’d be deemed traitors to the cause for doing so. (Watch her floor speech below.) Can’t blame her for calculating that way. If you were looking to stay on the left’s good side, whom would you side with? Progressive heartthrob Elizabeth Warren or the lame duck who just got obliterated for the second midterm election in a row?

Is what she says correct, though? Does Boehner really lack the votes? Apparently, yeah:

Unsure whether they have the votes to pass a trillion-dollar federal spending package, House GOP leaders on Thursday afternoon delayed a final vote on the “cromnibus.”…

GOP leaders called a recess to floor proceedings, with a GOP leadership aide confirming “no conference meeting [is] planned at this time.” The aide said “leadership teams are still talking to their respective members,” and noted, “We still plan to vote this afternoon.”

It’s not clear, however, what they will be voting on.

If Republicans can’t surmount the impasse, they could decide to proceed with swiftly moving a short-term continuing resolution through the chamber, which the Senate could also pass before 11:59 p.m., when current funding expires.

Two sources told NRO’s Joel Gehrke that Boehner actually promised wavering Republicans during the test vote earlier today that he’d pull the cromnibus and replace it with a clean, short-term spending bill if they spared him the humiliation of losing the test vote. Supposedly that’s why conservative Marlin Stutzman agreed to vote yes; without Stutzman (or anyone else), the vote would have ended in a 213-213 tie.

Two questions now. One: Why is Pelosi opposing a bill that would give her side half a loaf when the GOP will control both houses next month and can write a bill that gives them none (or rather, only as much as the lame duck Obama insists on)? I think Leon Wolf has the answer to that. The politics of opposing a new giveaway to Wall Street might be worth more to Democrats than the concessions made by the GOP in the bill itself are. (It’s revealing that the GOP isn’t eagerly blaming Elizabeth Warren for risking a shutdown by trying to block a pro-Wall Street provision, notes Benjy Sarlin.) If you think lefty Warren-style economic populism is the way to go, especially in 2016, why not take your fingerprints off the bill and let Obama decide whether to sign a new pro-Wall Street GOP offering next month? If he does, House Dems can say they’re blameless. And if they raise enough of a stink now, left-wing pressure on Obama might convince him to veto it.

Two: With eight hours to go before the government runs out of money and shuts down, will Reid agree to a short-term CR? If so, how short-term? More funding for one week is probably okay by him, as he’ll still be majority leader next Thursday. A clean 10-month funding bill is probably okay with him too, as it’ll lock the new Senate Republican majority into a compromise spending bill for a good long while. But as Gabe Malor argued on Twitter, a one-month CR is no good: All it means is that he’ll be handing the baton to Mitch McConnell, destroying his own leverage over negotiations. Problem is, if Reid blocks a one-month CR, the government will shut down. And quite possibly, instead of the usual narrative blaming the GOP for the shutdown, the media will have no choice but to blame Reid, Warren, and Pelosi. Frankly, I hope it happens. I’m curious to see our friends in the press, longtime believers in the idea that few things in life are worse than a shutdown, suddenly discover that shutdowns caused by a stand on principle are pretty sweet after all. A week characterized by stark media embarrassments could use another. Stay tuned.

Update: Let the shutdown preparations begin!

Update: Kevin Glass notes an odd transformation in the media’s shutdown coverage this time.

Instead of “Why Democrats Want to Shut Down the Government,” we get “Warren tells House Dems not to support omnibus.” Instead of “Elizabeth Warren and the shutdown caucus,” we get “Spending bill teeters amid Democratic discontent.” Instead of “Elizabeth Warren Is Protesting the Shutdown She Asked For” we have “Elizabeth Warren Joinse Revolt Against Wall Street Deal In Government Shutdown Talks.

Last year, Ted Cruz’s push against the government spending deal was all about how Ted Cruz wants a shutdown. But when Elizabeth Warren threatens to torpedo a spending deal that will result in a shutdown, it’s all about her courage in standing up to Wall Street and her populist movement against fat cats. Everyone loves a good story about intrapartisan fighting on Capitol Hill, but only the media wants to hide that what’s behind Elizabeth Warren’s crusade is that she wants to shut down the government to achieve her goals.

Update (Ed):  Looks like Boehner’s hedging his bets:

That would give Barack Obama a couple of more days to twist enough arms to get the bill to pass the House. If he can’t find those votes, well …

… yeah.

Update (Ed):  Obama just sent his chief of staff Denis McDonough to meet with the House Democratic caucus. The White House has gone from reluctant acceptance to cheerleader very, very quickly. They are way out on a limb here.

Update: Looks like Boehner’s going to roll the dice and hold a floor vote on the cromnibus anyway. Should happen sometime in the 9 p.m. ET hour. He’s got a shot at 218: I saw on Twitter that at least one House Democrat claimed he’d vote yes after the huddle with McDonough.

If you’re looking for another reason to root against the cromnibus, here’s one: It’ll be received as a show of Warren’s clout among Democrats, which will make Hillary a bit more nervous about a primary challenge than she was yesterday. In fact, Democrat Jim Moran thinks 2016 is one of Warren’s motives in taking the stand she’s taken.

Update: Steny Hoyer’s also a yes? And Nita Lowey, the Dems’ chief negotiator, too? This could be a cliffhanger.

Update: And yet another clue for how you should be rooting:

We’re about to find out just how lame the lame duck is.

Update: Turns out the lame duck isn’t completely lame yet. Boehner lost 67 Republicans — but, thanks to McDonough’s arm-twisting, picked up 57 Democrats, more than enough to salvage the bill, 219-206. I’ll have the roll as soon as it’s available. In the end, despite lefty pressure, it made too much sense for Dems to vote yes. They’re not going to get a better deal next month when McConnell’s running the Senate; they were taking a risk in flirting with a shutdown, something the GOP could use against them later; and, like Dan McLaughlin said, the humiliation to Obama if the bill failed despite McDonough’s pleading would have been greater than the humiliation to Boehner. There’s a reason that Pelosi pointedly refused to whip against the bill, as noted in the excerpt all the way at the top of this post (“However you decide to vote in the end…”).

Money question now: Are there 41 votes in the Senate to filibuster this big bloated whale of a bill? With Cruz leading tea partiers against it and Warren leading liberals, there’s a fair chance at a rare left/right joint effort to kill it. Stay tuned.

Update: Still no roll yet but keep refreshing this page. It’ll be there shortly.

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Bmore on December 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM

We need to have Trey Gowdy start an investigation in to John Boehner. I don’t think this is simply a matter of him ignoring the will of the electorate. I’m wracking my brain trying to think of some other reason (other than a pay off) as to why he would do something that would obviously have terrible repercussions to the republican party now and in the next election. I believe he might be as corrupt (or even more so) than Obama. That is the only explanation that makes sense.

bandutski on December 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Bmore on December 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Thanks! Any idea why the House isn’t publishing the roll call on its page?

obladioblada on December 12, 2014 at 12:18 PM

bandutski on December 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Boehner couldn’t care less about the electorate. This is all about party and personal power. Wall Street and the Chamber are big donors and they need their pay-offs and their illegal immigrants.

obladioblada on December 12, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Republicans that were no on both votes:

Justin Amash (MI-3)
Michele Bachmann (MN-6) (not returning)
Dave Brat (VA-7)
Mo Brooks (AL-5)
Paul Broun (GA-10) (not returning)
Louie Gohmert (TX-1)
Paul Gosar (AZ-4)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-1)
Walter Jones (NC-3)
Jim Jordan (OH-4)
Steve King (IA-4)
Raul Labrador (ID-1) (Yeah, he’d have been so much worse than McCarthy)
Thomas Massie (KY-4)
Bill Posey (FL-8)
Matt Salmon (AZ-5)
Steve Stockman (TX-36) (not returning)

topdawg on December 12, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Ok, first of all, lets get past some of the misinformation flying around about this bill:

This was a bill JOINTLY crafted by both House Republicans and Senate Democrats as the result of the Ryan/Murray budget compromise of a year ago. This bill was no surprise to anyone. It is being portrayed by some dishonest operators in conservative media as some sort of surprise betrayal and as being crafted by House Republicans alone. It wasn’t.

it was this:

This had been coming for a year. Of the Republicans voting against the bill last night, all but 5 of them were the same Republicans who voted for the Ryan/Murray compromise in the first place.

The House had no choice (and the Senate has no choice) but to go along with this compromise because they agreed to do so last year. Sure, there is a lot of arm waiving and posturing and showboating going on, but this was a compromise bill that was agreed to long ago that every single one of these people (and the “hair on fire” arm waiving right wing pundits) knew was coming.

50% of this bill is crafted by Senate Democrats. That is why it looks like it does. It is not the product of John Boehner or purely House Republicans. It is a JOINT BILL so there are going to be things in there that upset Republicans and some things that upset Democrats, but we KNEW for a year that is what this was going to be.

What I would suggest is that people now look at the misrepresentation and outright baloney being spouted by some of the conservative press and realize that the conservative press is no better than the liberal press. They will be just as misleading, just as manipulative as the liberal press is, it just spins the crap in the opposite direction. They both lie, tell half-truths, and will make anything a “catastrophe” if it will advance their cause or rally their people, but it’s mostly bull.

crosspatch on December 12, 2014 at 2:13 PM

What I would suggest is that people now look at the misrepresentation and outright baloney being spouted by some of the conservative press and realize that the conservative press is no better than the liberal press. They will be just as misleading, just as manipulative as the liberal press is, it just spins the crap in the opposite direction. They both lie, tell half-truths, and will make anything a “catastrophe” if it will advance their cause or rally their people, but it’s mostly bull.


Hyper-partisanship–and those invested in ‘my party right or wrong’–will be the death of us.

Somme 1916 on December 12, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Chad Pergram [email protected] 2m2 minutes ago
Sens Warren/Vitter file amdt to strip Wall Street bailout language from #CRomnibus. If adopted, bill would have to return to House.

d1carter on December 12, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Benedict Boehner, courtesy of Bmore

Schadenfreude on December 12, 2014 at 2:45 PM

bandutski on December 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Gowdy refuses to follow up why Amb. Stevens was in Benghazi on the anniv. of 9/11, why he met with the Turkish envoy, says that “he was only there for the love of Libya”.

Greata nailed him on it two nights ago.

He’s absorbed by the borg.

Schadenfreude on December 12, 2014 at 2:49 PM

This was a bill JOINTLY crafted by both House Republicans and Senate Democrats as the result of the Ryan/Murray budget compromise of a year ago.

The “compromise” that undid the sequester and demonstrated why Ryan was a bad choice for lemonade-stand kid, let alone a Veep nomination.

Bzzzt, thanks for playing.

ebrown2 on December 12, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Hyper-partisanship–and those invested in ‘my party right or wrong’–will be the death of us.

Somme 1916 on December 12, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Nope. 18 Trillion plus, and adding to it via “compromise”, will be.

But thanks for playing, have fun fiddling while the rest burns.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on December 12, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Boehner has become just a rubberstamp for Obama. Pathetic.

Norwegian on December 12, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Stutzman says GOP leadership lied to him to get his vote on the rule.

novaculus on December 12, 2014 at 4:48 PM


Tell me about it.

Bmore on December 12, 2014 at 4:51 PM

It was all for show.

1. GOP members got to prove their loyalty to Boehner who now has a list

2. Certain GOP were allowed to vote against the bill to preserve themselves for re election

2. The Dems would first take photo ops and sound bites, and then supply whatever votes Boehner needed to pass the Bill.

DEM analysts would decide which DEMs would gain most in their district by pretending to buck the party

There was so much pork in the bill for both parties you know this vote was rigged and the bill was probably contrived before the last election.

In that sense it is just like Obamacare

I dont think they were worried about getting it done in the lame duck

I believed they needed to get it passed pronto, to make their banker masters happy.

The bailout is the reason for the rush

The Saudis propped the economy for the election by pumping oil, but there is a limit to how long the Saudis will continue. Christmas retail was a disaster, despite low oil, because the money supply is drying up – not the money supply to central banks, but the money supply to the middle class, whose spending drives the US economy. Certain banks are on the edge of derivative death,
and Boehner is there to serve them, as is Obama

In return, they divi up the base of voters. But neither party is working for the voter. That bill was for the banks, bought with the pork

To think the muslim empire helped stage the election to bail (international) banks with our money, and placated the public with pork purchased with our own money

entagor on December 12, 2014 at 8:02 PM

How much is Obama’s ? Almost half. In 6 years.
That was the plan..destroy “fundamentally transform” the United States of America.

Mimzey on December 12, 2014 at 9:22 PM

crosspatch on December 12, 2014 at 2:13 PM

The point is that it should have never been passed. It makes no sense on any level. Why should a new congress have to live by the “cram” of people on their way out?

Mimzey on December 12, 2014 at 9:27 PM