When moderates Republicans rebel (UPDATED)

As I noted -- to be honest, gloated -- earlier this week, Republican leadership in Congress is facing the prospect of mutiny within the ranks over spending cuts. Well, guess what happened the spending plan yesterday:

House Republican leaders were dealt a rare defeat Thursday as Democrats and 22 Republicans teamed up to kill a major health and education spending measure. The 224-to-209 rejection of the $142.5 billion in spending on an array of social programs was the first time since the early days of the Republican takeover of the House a decade ago that the majority had come out on the losing end of such a vote. [LINK]
The defeat partly reflects the worries among moderate Republicans about deep spending cuts in health care and education programs like the Pell Grant. More significantly, it reveals a serious erosion of party discipline as the leadership finds itself in disarray.

But before you get too excited, here is what Josh Marshall makes of this mini-debacle:
The point here is, who cares about this vote? Republicans control the body. So they can just stick this stuff back in the big omnibus bill at the end of the year when everything comes down to just one vote. Presumably, then, these moderates will feel obliged to vote for the whole thing.
Doesn't this set these twenty-two moderates up for one of those juicy, 'I voted for it before I voted against it' moments?
Of course, it does. [LINK]
Does Josh Marshall want to rain on my parade? Of course, he does.

UPDATE: Turns out Josh Marshall may be right about Republican leadership prevailing in the long run. The defeat of the spending bill did not prevent the House Republicans from pushing through a massive budget cut plan that very night with a razor-thin margin of 217-215 -- despite opposition from 14 Republicans. The bill is expected to "slice almost $50 billion from the deficit by the end of the decade by curbing rapidly growing benefit programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and student loan subsidies." But there will be much House-Senate wrangling over the bill in December, so ... [LINK]

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