Friday, July 29, 2011

Declaring Victory? Not Quite Yet

Looks like even the wise counsel of Thomas Sowell or Ann Coulter has failed to persuade some of the more conservative members of the Republican House Caucus to vote to pass the Boehner plan.

The House postponed a Thursday night vote on Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the federal borrowing limit after he failed to stem a revolt by conservative GOP members. The delay leaves the credit status of the U.S. government in jeopardy with five days remaining before it begins running out of money to pay all its bills

The development came after a two-hour debate on the bill was abruptly ended earlier in the evening. Mr. Boehner, knowing that a rejection could undermine his speakership, then joined other House GOP leaders in trying to pressure party members to reconsider their opposition.

Those efforts fell short and it wasn't clear if the vote would be rescheduled. But the development appeared to hand the initiative for the moment to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), who is pushing an alternative version of the debt bill.

House Republicans and Senate Democrats planned to meet Friday morning at 10 a.m. to plan strategy. Republicans will figure out whether, and how, they can move forward.

I have to admit I would not have minded if the Boehner plan was passed, so long as we had some metaphysical certitude in knowing that the GOP would keep the budget cutting heat turned on. But, that's been the problem with past budget deals: lots of promises of cuts in the "out years" that simply never materialize.

Not only that, no budget cutting plan, no matter how "draconian" the media might portray it, has ever dealt with the spending increases built into the budget process by baseline budgeting, a concept that has only been the law since the 1970's, but which apparently is the Alpha and Omega modern legislating.

Either you want to cut spending or you don't. Spending cuts are actual cuts, not reductions in the growth of future spending, or goofy credits for not continuing the Afghan War Surge for another 10 years. (amazing how the "adults in the room" behave, isn't it).

At the moment, the GOP appears to be in disarray, but at least they're trying to put something together. Democrats are literally on the sidelines, screaming insults and announcing imperiously that the latest House offering is DOA. And it's no joke about the insults. Verum Serum has collected some choice bits, all from people in the Dem leadership btw
Tell me again how it works that the left is "winning," even as they are becoming more shill and incoherent by the hour.

Like a lot of people, I was unhappily resigned to yet another short-term fix, but for people like Connie Mack and Rand Paul, going along with this Kabuki was too much for them to stomach. Their constituents sent them to DC to make actual cuts, and so far they are determined to make them. Good for them. America might not have a third party, but the conservative wing of the Republican Party has almost become a third factor in getting anything done in Congress. It's not optimal. It will lead to a million "GOP civil war!" headlines, but the fight is a good one.

UPDATE: looks like they got it done. They added some bit about Congress passing a Balanced Budget Amendment and sending it out to the states. The final bill raises the debt ceiling by $900B and "cuts" (spare me. we know these aren't real cuts) $917B. Now the bill has gone to the Senate where the adults in the room have declared the bill a draconian terrorist act that is dead on arrival.

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