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April 15, 2011

House Passes Ryan/GOP Budget Outline

Apparently passing a $3.5 trillion spending plan with, um, only 1 trillion dollars in deficit is something to be excited about.

Only in America as Don King says.

The final tally was 235-193, with four Republicans supporting it and every Democrat opposing it.

It will now be considered by the Senate, where it is considered dead on arrival.

Earlier in the day, 124 Republicans had cast a vote in favor of an alternative budget from members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) — more than the number of Republicans in opposition.

Republicans likely saw the RSC bill as a free vote that let them give a nod to deeper cuts, while Democratic opposition would ensure defeat of the bill.

But most Democrats voted "present," which forced Republican leaders to adjust their votes at the last second in order to ensure the defeat of the RSC budget. Even after adjusting to the Democratic procedural move, 119 Republicans voted for the RSC budget, and 120 Republicans voted against it, and it failed in a 119-136 vote.

And therein is the difference between Republicans and conservatives. The only reason not to support the deeper cuts is that you don't want to take the false hits of being called baby and old people killers. Two things...first, Democrats and the MFM (BIRM) are going to do that anyway. Second, when you cut the inevitable deal, with Obama and the Senate Democrats people will only remember the end point, not the starting point. You might as well start at the bigger number and compromise down from that. You'll get a better deal in the end. That of course assumes that Republicans (vice conservatives) think cutting more is "a better deal". I'm not sure there's a lot of proof to support that contention.

Added: I grudgingly admire the Democrats for playing hardball by voting "present" on the RSC budget and making the Republicans kill it. I advocated for Republicans to do the same thing with the Stupak Amendment back during the health care votes. The GOP refused to that at the time and gave the Democrats an easy out. It's like one side plays for keeps and the other not so much.

Added 2: I should be a bit more clear about Republicans v. conservative thing. I don't think Ryan is a squishy sellout, far from it. But he, Boehner and the rest of the leadership can't get too far out in front of what will get at least 218 GOP votes. The House majority is not monolithic (obviously). Not everyone of them is a tea party poster child. Leaders have to keep a heard of cats together. It's not a gig I'd sign up for.

Also...going on record to reform the major social "entitlement" programs? As Joey Biden would say, that's a Big F'n Deal.

Still, more cuts as a starting point leading to the inevitable compromise would have been better.

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posted by DrewM. at 02:40 PM

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