The revised debt ceiling increase/deficit reduction bill that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) now is pushing toward a vote in the House tonight apparently includes not just a requirement that the House and Senate vote on a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but that the House and Senate must pass the amendment. If the amendment isn’t actually adopted by both houses, Congress would be prohibited from considering the second increase in the federal debt ceiling that will be needed later in the year under the Boehner plan.
In other words, the new Boehner bill requires not just that the Senate consider the constitutional amendment but actually dictates what the outcome must be.
This unambiguously is an attempt by Boehner to appeal to the tea party wing of the GOP to get the votes he needs to get something…or anything…out of the House today.
I’ve been told by several sources, however, that Boehner has been appealing to his tea partiers to vote for this with the promise that they’ll be able to vote against what ultimately comes back from the Senate — if, that is, something actually does come back from the Senate.
Boehner’s thinking is that with debate and vote on final passage of a debt ceiling increase coming as close to August 2 as possible, House and Senate Democrats will provide the votes needed to get the bill adopted no matter what it includes. So Boehner is appealing to the political right now but will be relying on the left later.