Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has arguably the worst job in Washington. When the House of Representatives returns from August recess on Sept. 9, Boehner will have just 21 days (only nine of them working days) to find a way to pass a fiscal year 2014 government funding resolution. Shortly after that, Boehner will also have to raise the Treasury Department’s borrowing limit, and the wealthy Republican donor class are also pressuring Boehner to pass immigration reform that grants amnesty to current illegal immigrants and expands guest worker programs to create new ones.

First and long
The vast majority of Boehner’s caucus don’t want to pass any of these items, at least not before major concessions from President Obama. On the continuing resolution needed to fund the government, 80 House Republicans singed a letter to Boehner urging him “to affirmatively defund the implementation and enforcement of ObamaCare in any relevant appropriations bills brought to the House floor.” On the debt limit, Boehner himself is still saying Obama must agree to a dollar’s worth of spending cuts for every new dollar in borrowing authority. And while there is consensus among Republicans for expanding high-skill immigration, amnesty for current illegal immigrants, and importing future illegal immigrants through low-skill guest worker programs, is a non-starter.

Punting on first down
Boehner’s first move apparently will be to punt the CR debate into October or November by passing a short-term CR that funds the government at current sequestration spending levels. Boehner said as much on a conference call yesterday. Then Boehner will probably call for a clean vote on the debt limit, just like he did in 2011. That vote failed spectacularly, with 82 Democrats joining all Republicans against giving Obama a no-limit credit card. Having established that it is politically impossible to pass a clean debt limit increase, as Obama has called for, Boehner will then attempt to negotiate with the White House, and Senate Democrats on the debt limit.

Three yards and a cloud of dust
At that point, everything will be on the table. The CR, the sequester, entitlement reform, tax hikes, immigration reform, the debt limit, really everything currently being debated in Washington will be up for discussion. By combining everything into one massive kludge, Boehner hopes he can find a sweet spot among his caucus that could produce a unified position. That unified position could include a year’s delay in implementing the individual mandate, cutting Social Security spending by adopting the chained CPI, a vote on parts of immigration reform, or even a delay in paying Obamacare insurance subsidies until the legally required anti-fraud and privacy protections are in place.

House leadership honestly has no idea what a final acceptable deal will look like. And neither will anyone else until the last possible second either.

From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: Escaping the Blue State tax death spiral
Rebecca Berg: Tom Cotton’s Senate bid boosted by big-name GOP contributors
Ashe Schow: Liberals loathe Walmart dependency, cool with government dependency
Sean Higgins: How a Las Vegas casino workers union tried to shut down a Boston UFC event
Tim Carney: Defunding Obamacare 101
Charlie Spiering: Tom Coburn calls for a national Constitutional Convention
Byron York: GOP poll finds strong opposition to government shutdown
Conn Carroll: Why doesn’t PPP ever ask about Obamacare?
Sean Lengell: Justice Department sues Texas over voter ID law
Joseph Lawler: Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to GOP: Raise debt ceiling immediately after recess
Steve Contorno: Army won’t pay for Bradley Manning’s sex change therapy

In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, California Health Exchange Might Face Online-Enrollment Delay: California’s new health-insurance exchange, the biggest of the state marketplaces emerging under the federal health overhaul law, has started telling insurers that there’s a possibility it won’t be ready to sign up consumers for coverage online when it launches on Oct. 1.
The Washington Post, Obama’s ‘outside experts’ for NSA review are former intel and White House staffers: A group of veteran security experts and former White House officials has been selected to conduct a full review of U.S. surveillance programs and other secret government efforts disclosed over recent months.
Stars and Stripes, Army, Navy target top brass, headquarters spending in latest cuts: With a warning that “the money is gone,” military leaders driven by falling defense spending are moving to cut top brass positions and slash headquarters spending.
McClatchy Newspapers, Household income has fallen 4.4% since recession’s end: The tough economy has pushed the average U.S. household income down even further than it was when the Great Recession ended, according to a recent report.
The Wall Street Journal, Nasdaq in Fresh Market Failure: A technical glitch knocked out trading in Nasdaq securities for three hours, an unprecedented meltdown for a U.S. exchange that paralyzed a swath of markets and highlighted the fragility of the financial world’s electronic backbone.

Lefty Playbook
Jeff Jarvis says that, “As a Democrat, I am disgusted with President Obama.”
Think Progress on “Why The Military Should Be Prepared To Offer Chelsea Manning Hormone Therapy.”
Dylan Scott on the White House plan to get their higher ed plan through Congress.
Ezra Klein says Obama’s higher ed plan can work without Congress.

Righty Playbook
Lindsey Burke explains why Obama’s higher ed plan is a step in the wrong direction.
Walter Russell Mead flags a new study showing that high deductible plans, may of which Obamacare outlaws, are creating health care slowdown.
George Will on Obama’s latest refusal to obey the law.