House Speaker John Boehner suffers setback. (Getty)

House Speaker John Boehner's leadership is being taken to the limit by his party. Last night the House vote on Boehner's debt-limit bill was abruptly canceled. It seems that he had not generated enough votes from fellow Republicans to ensure that the bill would pass. Who were the holdouts? Can you say "South Carolina"?

The Washington Post reports that outside the House Chamber, Boehner summoned members of the holdout GOP South Carolina delegation to his second-floor office just off the Capitol Rotunda. But he appeared to make little headway, and within minutes, freshmen Reps. Mick Mulvaney and Jeff Duncan left the meeting, saying they were heading to a nearby chapel to pray for their leaders.

Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) later joined them, and the trio — stalwart conservatives who have steadfastly opposed efforts to grant the Treasury additional borrowing authority — told reporters that Boehner's pitch had not been persuasive.


"Divine inspiration already happened," said Scott, a liaison to party leadership for the Republican freshman class in the House. "I'm a no."

A short while later, the South Carolinians gathered with other undecided Republicans in the first-floor offices of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), a usual hangout for many of the 87 freshmen. There, Boehner, McCarthy and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) pleaded with their fellow Republicans for support.

What are they mad about? Pell Grants, which they see as "welfare," and of course a balanced-budget amendment, which cannot happen as part of this bill at this late stage. We won't even address the asinine comments about Pell Grants. We would like to know how many members of Congress received them? It's very likely that Boehner did if he grew up as poor as he claims to have been. Leaving this vote to go and pray? We won't touch that one, except we will assume that they missed Bible study on Wednesday.


The real issue is that the the House Speaker, who has been working his arse off to get a reasonable bill that falls within spending cuts he outlined, has to beg freshman members of his party to support his bill. How sad is that? Does Boehner's experience count for nothing? Obviously, since these Tea Party members are hell-bent, pun intended, on making the country default under President Obama, to the detriment of us all. You've heard the saying "You can't reason with some people"? This is a clear case.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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