GOP "My Way Because I'm On the Highway" Approach Puts Jobs, Disaster Relief At Risk

Now, that Republicans have passed a partisan CR that’s dead on arrival in the Senate, they’re ready to head home before our work is done. We need to work on a bipartisan bill to fund the government and provide aid to those affected by recent disasters. But apparently, Republicans are content heading home and putting both jobs and disaster aid at risk.

Over at the Washington Post, Ezra Klein had a good take on Republicans’ “my way or the highway” approach:

“In his September 15th speech to the Economic Club of Washington, DC, Speaker John Boehner was very eloquent on the need for a new spirit of compromise in politics. ‘If we want to create a better environment for job creation, politicians of all stripes can leave the ‘my way or the highway’ philosophy behind,’ he said.”

“It turns out, though, that he didn't mean to totally leave it behind. He meant to tweak it slightly. ‘My way or the highway’ might be out, but ‘my way because I'm on the highway’ is in.”

“Earlier this week, House Republicans failed to pass legislation that would continue to fund the federal government. Last night, after some cosmetic changes and a stern talking to by the leadership, the bill squeaked through the chamber. But there are still major differences, particularly in disaster-relief funding, between what House Republicans passed and what Senate Democrats. Normally, this would kick off negotiations. But not this time, says Boehner. This time, House Republicans are leaving town for a scheduled recess, so it's either this bill, or the government's lights go off. “

“In legislative parlance, this is called ‘jamming.’ You hand the other chamber a must-pass bill and you walk from the table. In this case, failure to pass a bill before September 30th would mean a government shutdown, and Boehner has said his chamber is not reconvening until October 3rd.”

“It remains to be seen whether Senate Democrats will actually get jammed. They have been pretty clear on their opposition to this bill, and Republicans might find it hard to explain that the government had to shut down because they refused to return to work and negotiate a resolution. But either way, it's hardly a new spirit of job-creating compromise reigning over Capitol Hill.”