Once again, it is clear that John Boehner lacks the confidence of a sufficient number of Republican members of the House to be able to negotiate a deal on their behalf. As long as the Speakership is controlled by the leader of the Republican caucus and the Republican caucus insists that a proposal must be able to get 218 Republican votes before it will even be brought up on the floor, nothing major can happen.
While I doubt the folks in Washington would do this, I have a modest little proposal to break at least part of the deadlock that borrows from something that sometimes happens in some of the states. In DC, the tradition is that the two parties put forward one candidate each for the position of speaker and the majority party elects its candidate. In several of the states, however, the choice of speaker is somewhat more fluid with different factions in the parties crossing party lines to put forward a "consensus" speaker.
My proposal to break the current death grip of the Tea Party on congressional business is that moderate Republicans (or even moderately conservative Republicans) put forward a Republican alternative to Boehner whom the Democrats would agree to support. The terms of the deal would be simple, each committee would be split 50-50 between the two parties with a Republican Chair and a Democratic Vice-Chair. Both the Chair and the Vice-Chair would have the power to schedule hearings and votes on legislation and a tie-vote in the committee would be enough to move the legislation forward. (On amendments in committee, a tie-vote would get the amendment forwarded to the Rules Committee for consideration as a possible floor amendment. In the Rules Committee, any potential amendment that got a tie vote for consideration on the floor would be one of the amendments to be considered on the floor,) You would still need to get 218 votes to approve the final rule from the Rule Committee, but Democrats would at least get their proposals brought to the floor for a vote on the Rule (and would only need to get 17 Republican votes to pass the Rule and the final bill).
This proposal is probably too sensible as it would break the iron grip of the majority on the House, but in an age when three-quarters of Representatives are more scared about their base supporting a primary challenger than the possibility of losing a general election. something needs to be done to give moderates a chance to work out compromises without needing to get the support of the most extreme wing of their party to even get a vote on the measure.