Now this is the stuff Speaker Boehner needs to be crying over. I mean when you're handing Barry & Co. lay-ups like these for the past week, it becomes no wonder most think it's a cinch The One will get another term come 2012:
It usually takes a lot longer for the party in charge to start with the finger-pointing, the failed votes and the backpedaling on campaign promises.
But the House Republican majority has already had two failed floor votes, is experiencing a backlash on the right over spending cuts and has bypassed the committee process it once praised for taking up major bills.
And that’s all just this week.
These initial flubs in the first month of the GOP majority are mainly public relations embarrassments — but Republicans may face much more substantial problems quelling an uprising over the debt limit and corralling conservative votes on the budget bill known as the continuing resolution, measures that are essential to keeping the government operating. The miscues indicate that House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders have a harder job than they bargained for managing an unwieldy, activist group of nearly 90 freshman lawmakers.
And the sudden resignation Wednesday of New York Rep. Christopher Lee, just hours after suggestive photos of him appeared on a gossip website, further demonstrated a GOP conference that continues to bumble its way through the opening chapter of the 112th Congress.
“The new majority has different leadership than the last time we actually were the majority. [They] have to make their own way, they have to make their own decisions, set their own policies,” said Florida Rep. Bill Young, a 38-year veteran of the House. “There’s a learning curve for leaders. There’s a learning curve for members.”
Boehner, who has tried to project an image of serenity throughout the opening weeks of this Congress, tried to downplay the challenges.
“We’ve been in the majority four weeks,” Boehner told reporters Wednesday morning. “We’re not going to be perfect every day.”
Democrats, however, are gleefully sending out press releases with the word “disarray” in the subject line, and Wednesday afternoon, the subcommittee chairmen of the House Appropriations Committee — traditionally known as “cardinals” — held an emergency meeting to seek ways to cut more than the approximately $40 billion being targeted so far. A senior GOP aide said “there are a lot of moving parts” as the leadership is working with the Republican Study Committee, freshmen and appropriators to find $100 billion in cuts.
“Governing is a bitch,” joked a top House Democrat, showing no sympathy for his GOP counterparts.