Someone should have bought Speaker John Boehner a copy of I'm Going to Be a Big Brother! when Eric Cantor became House Majority Leader last January. It may have helped him better adjust to having a new, young member of the Congressional family stealing his spotlight and throwing tantrums about budget negotiations…
When Boehner cut a deal with Obama on the 2011 budget just months into his speakership, he hailed it as a major win in that it sliced tens of billions of dollars from the federal budget. Cantor and other hard-line conservatives privately grumbled that it wasn’t enough and that Boehner should have shut down the government, even temporarily, to prove his point.
Several months later, Boehner began secret White House talks with Obama over a "grand bargain" to cut trillions from the budget while simultaneously reforming the Tax Code. After Cantor found out about those talks, he stormed out of debt ceiling negotations chaired by Vice President Joe Biden. Boehner included Cantor in later talks with the president, but no deal was reached.
After rumors that the chiefs of both camps weren't on speaking terms, questions of infighting abounded. Boehner continued to maintain that he and Cantor had no problems. But once everyone left the playroom, it was wedgie time…
The interoffice tensions were so prominent that elected Republican lawmakers were chafing at the public and private tribulations of the ongoing Boehner-Cantor drama — one GOP lawmaker stood up and complained about it in a recent closed-door meeting of House Republicans — and the two operations came to the realization that the constant sparring between their camps could hurt both lawmakers politically.
How sweet. The two are now making efforts to play nicely. Now if only someone could persuade them to do the same with their cousin Obama. That "someone" may end up being the mother of all politicians: Election Day.
Photo by Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Eric Cantor, House of Representatives, Joe Biden, John Boehner, Republicans, Taxes