It is a strange time in congress, I know, what else is new? Seriously though, can you name the last time the Speaker of the House voluntarily (without scandal, etc.) resigned not only their speakership, but their seat altogether? There have been others, but not like this. Another strange thing is happening, someone who quit their job is actually trying to get more done in their last weeks…and it just might work.
Speaker Boehner has reached across the aisle, engaging Democrats to try and enter into an agreement to keep the government open by passing the requisite spending bills. In fact, congress is voted Wednesday to continue funding the government through December 11th, but the outgoing speaker is working to cut a deal that will fund the government past the 2016 election. This is important for two reasons – First, it allows his successor to avoid a nasty shutdown fight in their first month and second, it allows Republicans to campaign with a little good will for a change. Something they sorely need if they plan to take back the White House and hold on to the Senate.
As the Speaker works the phones to find a spending compromise, the House is preparing for a vote next week to choose his successor that could render his effort moot. Regardless of the budget, whomever is elected will still have to take on the debt ceiling, the highway trust fund bill, and the Tea Party caucus that ultimately led him to throw his hands up and leave. However it all shakes out one thing is for sure, if one member resigning can lead to a compromise, perhaps it’s time for many more to follow his lead.
Ross Willkom is an associate member of the Capstone team. He is a 2006 graduate of Indiana University with a degree in political science.
The views in this blog post represent the viewpoints of individual team members, not Capstone National Partners as a whole.