House Hostage Takers Give Up, But Promise Plenty of Hostages in Future

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The good news today is that John Boehner is apparently making good on his promise to “clean the barn” before he leaves by cutting a budget deal with the White House. From the New York Times: “The accord would avert a potentially cataclysmic default on the government’s debt and dispense with perhaps the most divisive issue in Washington just before Speaker John A. Boehner is expected to turn over his gavel to Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.”

Then there’s today’s schadenfreude-ish news: House super-conservatives are sad because they don’t think there’s anything they can do to halt this reckless attempt to keep the government running and pay our legal debts. Reuters: “Representatives Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan and Mick Mulvaney, founders of the hard-right Freedom Caucus, told Reuters in an interview that there was not enough time for House Republicans to rally around a list of demands for raising the $18.1 trillion U.S. borrowing limit.”

Then there’s today’s bad news:

Leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives’ most influential conservative group told Reuters on Monday it was too late to stop an extension of the federal debt ceiling this week, but they will not hold it against the expected next House Speaker, Paul Ryan.

….The three lawmakers said they wanted to work with Ryan on process reforms that would allow them to get a much earlier start on future fiscal deadlines to demand spending cuts and reforms to federal benefits programs such as Social Security and Medicare. This way, they would not be trying to craft a strategy at the last minute with default or government shutdowns looming in the balance.

….[Mulvaney] said Ryan’s first big test would be a spending bill to keep government agencies open past a current shutdown deadline of Dec. 11. This would have to produce “at least something better than we would have gotten under Mr. Boehner.”

So they’ve given up on provoking a debt limit/government shutdown crisis for now, but by God they expect Ryan to give them enough time to provoke plenty of them in the future. And that starts in six weeks, Mr. Speaker.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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