If Pelosi persuades enough of her members to vote against the funding bill, House Republicans will have to revert to a three-month, short-term extension for all government spending, setting up another funding fight in mid-March. That would mean that Republican leaders will be required to spend the first quarter of their first year in control of Capitol Hill tussling over government spending.
Next year, GOP leadership sources promise, they’ll ignore the far right and make progress with an easier group of lawmakers. Some Republicans are urging leadership to ignore the far right right now, and put a full-year funding bill on the floor, and allow members to vote their conscience.
But there’s a lot at stake over the next week for every Republican leader. If Boehner missteps, he could enrage conservatives whose votes he needs to remain speaker, come January. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California promised to end pointless legislative battles, and Congress is barreling headlong into yet another one. Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who is taking some credit for this package, ran a leadership campaign based on bringing conservatives on board to leadership packages. But at this point, they’re peeling off, raising some early questions about Scalise’s effectiveness.