I Am Now Very Confused by John Boehner

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

I do not understand this:

With a budget deal still elusive and a deadline approaching on raising the debt ceiling, Speaker John A. Boehner has told colleagues that he is determined to prevent a federal default and is willing to pass a measure through a combination of Republican and Democratic votes, according to one House Republican.

The lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of not being named, said Mr. Boehner indicated he would be willing to violate the so-called Hastert rule if necessary to pass a debt limit increase. The informal rule refers to a policy of not bringing to the floor any measure that does not have a majority of Republican votes.

Other Republicans also said Thursday that they got the sense that Mr. Boehner, who held two meetings Wednesday with groups of House moderates, would do whatever was necessary to ensure that the country did not default on its debt.

That’s good to hear. But it doesn’t make sense. For months now, Boehner has been telling his caucus not to use a government shutdown as leverage to cut spending or defund Obamacare, but instead to use the debt ceiling as leverage. That’s been his consistent strategy since March.

But now he’s telling them that, in fact, the debt ceiling can’t be used as a hostage after all? That’s weird. Of course, at the same time that he’s been begging his caucus to use the debt ceiling as leverage, he’s also been promising that he will never “risk the full faith and credit of the United States.” So this has been confusing all along.

I don’t know what’s going on anymore. In the meantime, however, here’s a video of brave, brave Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) publicly berating some poor park ranger for being stuck doing a terrible job that Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) has forced her to do. Kinda makes you want to puke.

We Recommend


Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.