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When House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) backed away from yet another manufactured debt ceiling crisis on Tuesday, he effectively killed what has been the Republican Party’s favorite negotiating tactic throughout the Obama administration. The costly practice of threatening to crash the global economy unless the president relents to the GOP’s ever-changing series of demands will never again be taken seriously in Washington, D.C.
Needless to say, Tea Party Republicans — the majority of whom don’t believe that the debt ceiling ever needs to be raised — are not pleased.
Within minutes of Boehner’s announcement that the House would vote on a “clean” debt ceiling raise, right-wing groups began calling for his head. And although Boehner remains very unlikely to actually lose his job — in addition to the lack of credible challengers to his speakership, starting the 114th Congress with a coup is not exactly how the GOP hopes to start the 2016 primaries — mutual enmity with the Tea Party seems certain to remain a huge thorn in Boehner’s side.
Here are five of the right-wing groups that lashed out at Boehner’s move towards fiscal sanity:
Senate Conservatives Fund
Image via senateconservatives.com
The Senate Conservatives Fund, an influential right-wing PAC founded by then-Senator Jim DeMint, released a petition calling for House Republicans to replace Boehner as Speaker almost immediately after he announced his intention to pursue a clean increase.
“There are 232 Republicans in the House today and it requires 218 votes to become Speaker. If 15 Republicans refuse to vote for John Boehner when the new Congress begins in January, he won’t have the votes to be re-elected and House Republicans will be forced to pick someone else for the job,” the petition reads. “We can debate who should replace him later, but first we need to create the vacancy. John Boehner isn’t going to leave unless we force him out.”
Tea Party Patriots
Image via teapartypatriots.org
Tea Party Patriots, among the largest and most infamous Tea Party groups in the nation, created a petition of its own calling for Boehner’s ouster.
“While Democrats are the driving force behind running up our national debt, growing the size of the federal government and wasting our money, all too often Republicans, led by Speaker John Boehner, are happy to go along for the ride,” the petition reads in part.
“The American people are desperate for principled leadership in Washington, not ‘go-along-to-get-along’ capitulation,” it adds. “Sign the petition now! Then contact your Representative and tell them you are ready for real leadership. Tell them to fire the Speaker!”
The right-wing Madison Project also lashed out at Boehner’s decision to pursue a clean debt ceiling raise, lamenting in a blog post that “Republicans have now set a precedent in which the debt ceiling will now be something that must be avoided instead of something we can embrace.”
“If you really oppose raising the debt ceiling and appreciate the long-term damage from Boehner’s policy,” Madison Project’s Daniel Horowitz writes, “why not call for a new leadership election immediately?”
“Now is the time to put up or shut up,” he added.
The post also takes an oblique shot at Boehner’s supposed support for immigration reform, urging Republicans who voted against the debt ceiling bill to “come out of the shadows and document yourselves.”
Club for Growth
AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm
Although the Club for Growth claims to be dedicated to creating a “high-growth economy,” the group is furious that Speaker Boehner moved to end the cycle of standoffs that cost $150 billion per year and 750,000 jobs.
“When we heard that House leadership was scheduling a clean debt ceiling increase, we thought it was a joke. But it’s not,” the group said in a statement urging Congress to oppose the deal. “Something is very wrong with House leadership, or with the Republican Party. This is not a bill that advocates of limited government should schedule or support.”
Arguably the most important conservative group also lambasted Boehner’s decision to stop playing chicken with the global economy.
Boehner’s move did not go over well with the folks at Fox. Within an hour of the announcement that the House would vote on a clean debt limit bill, Andrew Napolitano was already on Stuart Varney’s Fox Business Network show, gesticulating wildly and shouting that the Speaker is “an agent for the administration!”
While the right-wing challenges to Boehner may be unlikely to actually cost him his job, Napolitano’s outrage is surely a preview of a town hall meeting in the Speaker’s near future.
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