In September 2008, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson reportedly begged House speaker Nancy Pelosi on one knee to support his bailout plan.
The day began with an agreement that Washington hoped would end the financial crisis that has gripped the nation. It dissolved into a verbal brawl in the Cabinet Room of the White House, urgent warnings from the president and pleas from a Treasury secretary who knelt before the House speaker and appealed for her support...
* * *
Nine years later, faced with a crisis of his own, Speaker Ryan reportedly got down on one knee to plead with Rep. Don Young of Alaska – the longest-serving Republican in Congress - to support the bill.
He was unsuccessful...
As The Hill reports, the moments highlighted by the Post during the Republican conference negotiations show what a tough battle Ryan and his deputies faced in whipping the vote. But they also show the fierce support some offered to leadership -- like freshman Rep. Brian Mast of Florida, who lost both legs in 2010 in Afghanistan and called on colleagues to unite behind the bill as he and his Army colleagues had done on the battlefield.
At another point, a Republican shouted, “Burn the ships” to Majority Whip Steve Scalise, invoking the command a 16th century Spanish conquistador gave his crew when they landed in Mexico.
The message was clear, the Post said –- the Republicans felt there was no turning back.
The GOP was ultimately unable to coalesce around the party’s plan and Ryan pulled the bill from the floor Friday, when it was clear it did not have the votes to pass.