Its no secret that during the 2011 debt ceiling crisis House Speaker John Boehner and Barack Obama negotiated a “Grand Bargain” to solve the (entirely Tea Party derived) crisis, cut massive amounts of federal spending, and raise taxes. Boehner was unable to get the Tea Party led congress to agree. The only deal left was sequestration, which if left unresolved threatens to send us back into recession.
Sequestration was supposed to be so onerous, so unacceptable that it would force our inept leaders to make a deal. Boeher is once again pushing Congressional Republicans to accept a deal:
On a conference call with House Republicans a day after the party’s electoral battering last week, Speaker John A. Boehner dished out some bitter medicine, and for the first time in the 112th Congress, most members took their dose.
Their party lost, badly, Mr. Boehner said, and while Republicans would still control the House and would continue to staunchly oppose tax rate increases as Congress grapples with the impending fiscal battle, they had to avoid the nasty showdowns that marked so much of the last two years.
Members on the call, subdued and dark, murmured words of support — even a few who had been a thorn in the speaker’s side for much of this Congress.
It was a striking contrast to a similar call last year, when Mr. Boehner tried to persuade members to compromise with Democrats on a deal to extend a temporary cut in payroll taxes, only to have them loudly revolt.
For those of us interested in responsible, non-ideological governance, glimmers of hope continue to shine through in the aftermath of the election. In order to avert another entirely manufactured disaster all our leaders have to do is the basic functions their jobs: compromise just enough in order to pass a bill. Politicians in America have been doing it since the beginning.