Bill Wilson: Playing Poker With Harry Reid
I hope and pray I am wrong.
Ideally, I hope the House of Representatives stands firm against demands from the Senate and White House to rubber stamp a so-called “clean” continuing resolution — one that will allow funding for Obamacare to take effect. That they hold the line even with the government partially shut down.
But based on everything we see, the initial signs are not so good.
For starters, the House has already passed three continuing resolutions, each a serious downgrade from the last. First, it would have defunded Obamacare in full. Then, it just delayed it for a year. And in their most recent bid, it would only delay the individual mandate and roll back congressional benefits under the law — and would allow full funding for Obamacare to take effect.
So, before the government had even shut down, Boehner had negotiated against himself no less than three times. Next, the House moved to appoint conferees for the legislation — the one that funds Obamacare.
At this rate, Harry Reid need only do nothing, and he will get what he wanted all along — a continuing resolution that fails to defund the health care law. And it is because, ever the shrewd Nevada poker player, Reid has an accurate gauge of his opponent.
Fortunately for Boehner, Reid may have overplayed his hand when he rejected the House’s request for a conference committee on the bill. This gives Boehner the opportunity to correct course and strengthen his hand so taxpayers don’t get cleaned out when Obamacare fully goes into effect in January.
In short, it is time for Boehner to double down. Instead of folding on defunding the health care law, the House would be well-advised to revert to its original bid. Which is that the House will fund the government at sequester levels except for Obamacare via the continuing resolution.
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