UPDATE AND CORRECTION
: At noon today, Roll Call posted a correction to the item that prompted this early morning item.
It said Tom Cotton
was at the restaurant in question at the time of the caucus of House ultraconservatives, but he denied being part of the secret basement meeting. The rest stands. This is a nutty bunch. You don't want to be associated with them. In time. the roll will be called. Sheep will be separate from goats.
I guess U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton
has no interest in appearing moderate.
Talking Points Memo reports
that Cotton was among a group of the most conservative Republican House members who huddled last night in a Mexican restaurant on Capitol Hill with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz
, credited as the driving force behind the effort to topple the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
That led to the government shutdown and the threat of default on U.S. debt. Quoting Roll Call, Talking Points Memo said:
Attendees reportedly included Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Steve King (R-IA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Raúl R. Labrador (R-ID), Steve Southerland II (R-FL), Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Justin Amash (R-MI).
You simply don't get crazier than this bunch. Gohmert has accused John McCain of being in league with al Qaeda. Tom Cotton has voted against aid for storm victims. Steve King once said his wife was in greater danger living in Washington than in Iraq. Jordan talked such nonsense Sunday on Fox News that even Chris Wallace got exasperated. Republicans kicked Amash off the Budget Committee because, said another GOPer, he is an "egregious asshole." And so on.
The fear is that — with the Senate nearing a budget deal — the Kamikaze Caucus is preparing an answering maneuver.
The deal poised to emerge from the Senate will face a big hurdle in the House, with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) staring down a conservative caucus adamant about gutting some part of the health care law. Cruz's influence over those conservatives has prompted Democrats to scrutinize Boehner's influence. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said earlier this month that the speaker has "become a puppet — with Ted Cruz pulling the strings."
Cruz declined to say Monday whether he'd try to block the pending Senate deal.
"I want to wait and see what the details are," he said.
Cotton is already on record as thinking a credit crash, with resulting market disaster, could be good medicine for the country. He also favors throwing poor people off the food stamp rolls and other similarly good medicine.
UPDATE: The kamikazes have struck. The House wants to add all manner of punitive provisions to the deal worked out in the Senate — an end to tax on medical devices, an end to health insurance subsidies for congressional staff and members health insurance, a hard deadline for debt ceiling increases. It's still their way or the highway.
Get it? House Republicans are spurning a bipartisan Senate deal. Will Arkies still blame the shutdown on President Obama?