House Speaker John Boehner trespassed on the Hastert Rule this week, says the man who ought to know.
"I don't want to be critical of John, but you don't ever bring something to the floor without the votes," former Speaker Dennis Hastert told the Alley.
Hastert, who held the gavel from 1999 to 2007 and is now a senior adviser at Dickstein Shapiro, is synonymous with the informal GOP rule that holds leadership should not advance a bill unless a majority of the majority supports it. Yesterday, Boehner admitted defeat and pulled his Plan B fiscal cliff bill after saying publicly it would pass.
And though, in the end, the bill did not get a vote, Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor both vowed it would pass. Hastert said he did not understand why the leadership pursued a public strategy on such a controversial bill.
"Once you're out in the press, it's the Wild West," he said.
The public fighting hurts the chances of getting a final deal. He said he's not sure if a deal will get done, but believes going over the cliff will hurt the economy.
"I wish I knew what was next," he said. "This whole thing is brinkmanship."