You’ll forgive me for not being able to think of a better headline for this:
The delay of the medical-device tax, which was part of Boehner’s proposal earlier today, is now out of the package, according to sources close to the internal House GOP deliberations. Conservatives complained today that delaying the tax would be “crony capitalism” and they can’t sell it to the Republican base as a viable Republican win.
So even the couple cells of flesh that House Republicans tried to take have been stricken from the bill. In exchange, the GOP has expanded the ban on Obamacare subsidy eligibility beyond Cabinet officials and congressmen to include their staffs. It might save a tiny amount of money, but it’s ultimately nothing more than catnip for us conservatives which, given the way this real-life episode of The Thick of It is unfolding, probably won’t even clear the Senate. The reporting comes from National Review’s Robert Costa, who sees fit to further torment us with this sad quote:
“The leaders are giving us one more chance to get something passed out of the House before the Senate does its thing,” says a veteran House Republican. “I think we’ll get it through, at least that’s my sense of things now. We want to do something that marks our position, so we don’t end up swallowing whatever terrible bait the Senate casts our way. Now, I know, and the majority of us know, that this is futile. But believe me, even getting to 218 on this plan will be an achievement.”
The AP just reported that Boehner’s Last Stand will get its vote tonight. After that, it’s all on the Senate.