Van Hollen: Boehner May Be Waiting Till After He’s Re-Elected Speaker To Cut Budget Deal

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Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) explained why he thinks House Speaker John Boehner can’t get to yes on a budget deal before automatic, across the board tax increases and spending cuts take effect after New Years: Once he’s re-elected Speaker he’ll have greater flexibility to cut a deal.  

“I’m getting increasingly concerned that one of the reasons the Speaker is deciding to, I think, string out these discussions is that he wants to wait til January 3 when the election for Speaker takes place and he’s concerned that any agreement he reaches if it violated the so-called Hastert Rule could undermine support for him in his caucus and make it more difficult on January 3,” he told reporters at a Wednesday breakfast roundtable hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. 

The Hastert Rule is shorthand for GOP protocol that no legislation should be brought up for a vote in the House unless it is supported by a majority of the Republican conference.

A number of leading Democrats have called out Boehner for placing his Speakership ahead of the will of voters — Van Hollen is perhaps the first to lay out exactly what that means. 

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