Graves Named By Boehner As Shutdown Conference Committee Member

The Political Insider gang over at the AJC brings us news this morning that Tom Graves has been named as a conferee from the House to negotiate any compromise with the Senate, should the Senate decide to accept the proposal of a conference committee.

As the government shutdown arrived, House Speaker John Boehner appointed eight members of a conference committee to work out a short-term spending bill with the Senate. Among them is Rep. Tom Graves, the Republican from Ranger who has led the “defund Obamacare” fight.

Boehner’s move is a sign that the conference would not betray the caucus’ right flank and a nod to the Georgia congressman’s  continued influence.

But it’s unlikely this homage to “I’m Just a Bill” is going to happen.

House Republicans figure Senate Democrats had rejected every offer without a discussion, so maybe it was time to start one. But Senate Democrats laughed this off, as Republicans previously have refused to go to conference over the budget this year.

Don’t let the significance of this appointment pass, for a variety of reasons.  Most obviously, Graves has positioned himself among the most conservative in the House, being uber-conservative Heritage Action’s most conservative House member for 2012.  Graves, however, isn’t a Paul Broun or Justin Amash, folks that have consistently bucked leadership for the sake of bucking leadership.  There are certain qualities with those folks that Graves has not yet been labeled with.

That said, should there be a conference, it is a big opportunity for Graves that is also not without risk.  This is a chance to show that those from the ultra conservative flank of the GOP can lead.  It is also a chance that, given this opportunity, to see if those who support Graves will continue to support him after a compromise is reached, or if he too will be given the infamous “RINO” label like other hard lines Rubio, Toomey, Ryan, Paul, and others have received as soon as they leave Tea Party comfort zones and attempt to govern.



We have received the following from Tom Graves’ office.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued the following statement after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats rejected an offer from House Republicans to go to a formal conference and negotiate an end to the government shutdown:

“If there was any question about who wants a government shutdown, Harry Reid answered it this morning when he rejected our offer to open formal negotiations on the government funding bill. Over the last several weeks, Harry Reid has proven to be a skillful political hit man and name caller. He never misses a chance to inject venom into the legislative process. However, he went further than anyone expected today when he rejected our offer to negotiate. From here on out, every minute of this government shutdown is owned solely by Harry Reid.”






  1. xdog says:

    “a chance to show that those from the ultra conservative flank of the GOP can lead. ”

    Serious question, Charlie. Lead where? Since they’re hung up on defunding ACA to the exclusion of anything else, do they have options beyond continuing to say ‘no’?

  2. bgsmallz says:

    “when he rejected our offer to open formal negotiations on the government funding bill”

    Wait…I must of missed something. What is there to negotiate about the funding bill? Are we trying to decide between cash or check? Derp.

    Oh…I forgot…it’s not about the funding bill. It’s about negotiating over Obamacare. Which makes Rep. Graves’ statement a bunch of crap.

    You wanted to shut down the government over Obamacare; now it’s time to own it and make the argument that the juice is worth the squeeze….or face the consequences.

    • saltycracker says:

      Hey, who better to make the case for “you shouldn’t have loaned us the money” than Graves ?

  3. DavidTC says:

    WTF is a ‘conference’ over a continuing resolution?

    A continuing resolution is a trivial piece of legislation that says ‘We will just do the same thing we did last year WRT spending, at least until we pass some new appropriations.’.

    Democrats have, quite clearly, said they are not going to pass anything else attached to that. Period. There is nothing to ‘negotiate’. There is nothing the conference could actually come up with that the Democrats will pass unless it is a clean bill…and the Senate already _passed_ a clean bill that the House can just use as-is. (In fact, it looks like the House actually _would_ pass it if it would get put up for a vote.)

    The Republicans have, for the last seven months, refused to have a conference over the _budget_, and I’m sure the Democrats would be happy to have that next week if the government stops being broken.

    But you demand a conference to get concessions over a bill that makes things not fall apart because the Republicans refused to go to budget conference. The hypocrisy is just astonishing.

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