Steve Benen on John Boehner’s ridiculous “pass” to the Senate:
Left with no “Plan C,” it’s come to this: hope the Senate can figure something out.
After a high-level telephone conference call, House Republican leaders called on the Senate to act but opened the door to bringing to the House floor any last-minute legislation the Senate could produce.
“The House will take this action on whatever the Senate can pass, but the Senate first must act,” said the statement issued on behalf of Speaker John A. Boehner and his three top lieutenants.
If you’re thinking, “Wait, this doesn’t make any sense,” you’re not alone. For one thing, the Senate already acted, passing a bill to freeze lower rates on income up to $250,000, and the House GOP leadership is choosing not to take up the Senate version. For another, there’s a Democratic majority in the Senate — are Harry Reid and his caucus expected to just guess what kind of plan can generate some modicum of Republican support?
Boehner and House Republicans are still on Christmas vacation — what are they supposed to do… come back to DC? Work?
What are Democrats doing?
A week from today, the Senate Democratic majority gets bigger (and more progressive), the House Democratic minority gets bigger (and more progressive), and the pressure on Congress will be overwhelming to resolve the standoff. Don’t underestimate the Democratic desire to wait and see how much better the deal may be after the deadline than before it.