GOP agenda in tatters as Boehner admits "stumbles'

Three weeks ago when the new Congress convened, hopes were high that the Republicans could quickly pass some hot button issues forcing President Obama to use his veto pen.

It hasn't quite worked out that way.

Instead, both Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell have failed in their efforts to pass significant legislation. The latest: A milquetoast border security bill that was so weak it engendered a rebellion in the House. Boehner had to pull the bill to avoid an embarrassing defeat.

On Monday, the Senate failed to pass a bill authorizing the Keystone pipeline - once thought to be a slam dunk. Also, an anti-abortion bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks was yanked off the floor when GOP congresswomen objected to a restrictive rape exemption.

About the most charitable thing you can say about all this is that the Republican leadership is off to something of a slow start.

Washington Examiner:

There have been a couple of stumbles,” Boehner told reporters after the meeting.

Boehner said Republicans have had to change course “in our effort to show the American people we are here to listen to their priorities.”

Conservatives told the Washington Examiner they want the border security bill to be considered alongside legislation that would increase interior enforcement of immigration laws. Conservatives also want to postpone debate on either bill until the Senate takes up a House-passed spending bill that would curb President Obama’s executive actions allowing millions of illegal immigrants to obtain work permits and some federal benefits.

Boehner said the House has not devised a plan in case the Senate is unable to pass the spending bill, which funds the Department of Homeland Security past a temporary measure that expires Feb. 27.

Democrats in that chamber are likely to filibuster the measure because of the provisions defunding Obama's executive action.

There's more to operating a legislative majority than simple numbers. The fact that Boehner was blindsided on abortion and border security shows a man without a plan - or even a clue. GOP factionalism is threatening the party's hard won gains and unless both Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell show a little leadership and begin listening to their members, Republicans are in danger of being seen as inept and unable to govern.

No need to guess where that will lead in 2016.

Three weeks ago when the new Congress convened, hopes were high that the Republicans could quickly pass some hot button issues forcing President Obama to use his veto pen.

It hasn't quite worked out that way.

Instead, both Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell have failed in their efforts to pass significant legislation. The latest: A milquetoast border security bill that was so weak it engendered a rebellion in the House. Boehner had to pull the bill to avoid an embarrassing defeat.

On Monday, the Senate failed to pass a bill authorizing the Keystone pipeline - once thought to be a slam dunk. Also, an anti-abortion bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks was yanked off the floor when GOP congresswomen objected to a restrictive rape exemption.

About the most charitable thing you can say about all this is that the Republican leadership is off to something of a slow start.

Washington Examiner:

There have been a couple of stumbles,” Boehner told reporters after the meeting.

Boehner said Republicans have had to change course “in our effort to show the American people we are here to listen to their priorities.”

Conservatives told the Washington Examiner they want the border security bill to be considered alongside legislation that would increase interior enforcement of immigration laws. Conservatives also want to postpone debate on either bill until the Senate takes up a House-passed spending bill that would curb President Obama’s executive actions allowing millions of illegal immigrants to obtain work permits and some federal benefits.

Boehner said the House has not devised a plan in case the Senate is unable to pass the spending bill, which funds the Department of Homeland Security past a temporary measure that expires Feb. 27.

Democrats in that chamber are likely to filibuster the measure because of the provisions defunding Obama's executive action.

There's more to operating a legislative majority than simple numbers. The fact that Boehner was blindsided on abortion and border security shows a man without a plan - or even a clue. GOP factionalism is threatening the party's hard won gains and unless both Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell show a little leadership and begin listening to their members, Republicans are in danger of being seen as inept and unable to govern.

No need to guess where that will lead in 2016.