A compromise on the debt ceiling and another promised-but-meaningless health care vote.

A compromise on the debt ceiling and another promised-but-meaningless health care vote.

A compromise on the debt ceiling and another promised-but-meaningless health care vote.

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Jan. 7 2011 5:40 PM

The Don't-Tread-on-Meter

A compromise on the debt ceiling and another promised-but-meaningless health care vote.

Don't-Tread-on-Meter: Jan. 7, 2011: 14

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post. 

They wanted an "ObamaCare" repeal vote, and they'll get an ObamaCare repeal vote. On Friday, Republicans got the votes to start debating the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, for a vote next Wednesday. "They threw out a whole bunch of members of Congress in constitutional fashion and replaced them with people who took the oath and the pledge to come here to repeal 'Obamacare,' " explained Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. "It's pretty simple." Republicans get to keep their promise, send the bill to die in the Senate, and start up on specific legislation to stop funding elements of reform.

It's not going as well for the Tea Party on the looming debt-ceiling vote. Both Speaker of the House John Boehner and Budget Chairman Paul Ryan admitted that the Republican-led House will probably vote to raise the debt ceiling after all, when a vote to do so comes up in the next few weeks. The strategy being developed—or settled for—right now is to demand government shrinkage in exchange for the politically costly vote. "I want to make sure we get substantial spending cuts and controls in exchange for raising the debt ceiling," said Ryan.

With those votes and statements behind them, we raise the thermometer to 14 points.

What is the Don't Tread On Meter?
It will track the progress (or lack thereof) of the Republican House of Representatives, and the Republican conference in the Senate, in fulfilling the promises they made to Tea Party activists. The meter will hit 100 if and when the GOP does absolutely everything it promised.

You can now add the Don't Tread-on-Meter to your blog or site. Just click the button in the lower right of the widget to get the code.

Bloggingheads Video: Ben Smith and David Weigel on the GOP Mandate To Cut Entitlements