It's been an exciting couple of days in government-land. Last night the House voted to accept the Senate bill. You may wonder whether your rep voted aye or nay. You can find out here. As a sad side note, John Lewis didn't vote as he was home in Georgia. Condolences on the loss of his wife of 45 years on New Year's Eve day.
Interestingly, none of the Republicans voted "Present" - they all took a stand. Those not voting were not in DC for various reasons, and it's a tiny number. Boehner and Ryan voted aye, and Cantor and Kevin McCarthy voted nay.
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The question, for the debt ceiling, Sandy relief, and oh hell, all the rest of actual necessary legislation (which does NOT include naming post offices) is whether or not Boehner has crossed a Rubicon and is now ready to be Speaker of the HOUSE, as opposed to Speaker of the Republican Tebag faction. If so, the 113th will be a completely different place from the 112th.
Obama has said that he'd not doing the debt ceiling dance again this year, and I believe him. The 85 Republicans who voted for the Senate bill have already shown that they are willing to risk primaries from the right to do what's necessary. I don't have the same view of that threat as many others do: I believe that there are enough purple districts where voting far right will be more of a threat to those Republicans in the 2014 general then risking a primary threat could ever be. I believe that America has had ENOUGH of the nonsense, and that even the political non-combatants have been paying attention.
Please read this article, entitled What California Can Teach America About Stopping Extremist Obstruction. It's excellent, and lays out the steps necessary on the state level (with national implications) towards changing the system in ways to make elections more fair, and enable legislators to actually accomplish things. If you believe, as I do, that government can be a force for good, and that regular people can come to embrace that, this article presents a path forward.
I am cautiously optimistic about what can happen this year.