It seems as if House Republicans still haven’t digested the results of the presidential election.
That’s the only explanation for the remarks House Speaker John Boehner made on Wednesday. The congressman, no less, told President Obama that everything remained the same as before his re-election. In other words, that they are ready to obstruct the president’s requests to raise the debt ceiling or keep the government operating.
Boehner said his caucus would accept new government revenues if they come in the shape of tax reform or economic growth; that the tax reform must eliminate deductions, lower tax rates and change the financial structure of federal programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.
That is exactly the agenda Mitt Romney presented, which was rejected by the majority of voters. The economy was a central issue in the election, and that is where these ideas lost the debate.
Is it possible that they are unable to accept that the majority of Americans do not believe in their recipes?
On Tuesday, voters decided that the “balanced” focus to tackle the deficit are the budget cuts and tax increases Obama proposed. The Republicans’ definition of “balanced” lost the election; voters said no.
Moreover, based on the election, there will be fewer Republican legislators in both the House of Representatives and the Senate during the next session. The impact of the election reached the party’s caucus.
In the next few months, Congress and the White House must reach an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliffwhich by law, raises taxes and slashes budgets in a way that is devastating for the economy.
Given the context, Boehner’s message was not conciliatory, especially considering the election results. On the contrary, it reflected the ideological inflexibility that has dropped the approval rating of Congress to its lowest ever level.
Boehner’s position indicates there will be no respite for Obama or for Americans who expect bipartisan cooperation. The country voted to address the lengthy debate on the economy. Someone should tell Republican legislators that their ideas lost.