DeMint’s opposition isn’t confirmed yet but Robert Costa of NRO has it on good authority. That might not be an insuperable obstacle to passage in the Senate given the fact, per Bret Baier below, that Reid seems open to the idea. If he can bring the Dems into line then all they’d need is the usual suspects — Brown, Snowe, Collins, Murkowski, and a few others — and they’re golden.
But Jordan’s kiss of death in the House will make things hard for Boehner:
Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, tells NRO that while he hasn’t review all the details of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R., Ky.) “contingency plan,” he doesn’t see much of a future for it in the House.
The RSC has 175 members. If all or most walk away, Boehner would need practically the entire Democratic caucus plus 50-60 Republicans who are willing to break with conservatives and lock arms with the left in the name of ceding control of the debt ceiling to Obama. They’d be doing it in the name of averting a default and boxing in The One as the candidate of debt next year, but I doubt that’d save them from primary challenges. How does Boehner get McConnell’s bill through the House under those circumstances? No wonder he seems so noncommittal about it; watch his reaction when Baier presses him on it at 1:30 of the clip below.
The key here, as is increasingly the case, might be Cantor. Whether there’s a rift between him and Boehner or not, he’s banked enough conservative cred by holding the line on taxes throughout the negotiation that he might be able to pry away some RSC members if he backed McConnell’s plan. Has anyone heard his reaction to it yet? If so, please tip us and I’ll update the post. I’ll leave you with a link to this brief but must-see vid (via NRO), which contains what must be one of the most ominous pauses in modern political history. No wonder McConnell’s thinking about Plan B.
Update: The Senate might be ready to play ball:
A back-up plan proposed by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell that would keep the U.S. government from defaulting on its debts next month is viable and under consideration by Senate Democrats, according to Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the chamber.
“We’re talking about it as one of the options, yes,” Durbin said in response to a question about whether the McConnell plan is viable.
Update: Still no word on Cantor vis-a-vis McConnell’s plan, but this quote from earlier today speaks volumes:
Across the Capitol, a closed-door caucus of House Republicans broke up with the leadership conceding that it’s frankly at a loss about getting the votes before Treasury’s Aug. 2 deadline.
“Nothing can get through the House right now,” Cantor said after the White House meeting. “Nothing.”