Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Huge Opportunity Now for Senate Dems to Fix the Budget

Now that Ted "I don't understand Senate procedure" Cruz has finished demonstrating his inability to grasp the meaning of Dr. Seuss, Senate Democrats can grab a repug-sent opportunity to cancel sequestration, ban austerity and restore budget sanity.

Steve Benen at Maddowblog:

Senate Democrats are expected to fix the Obamacare provision, leave the rest of the bill intact, and send it back with very little time left on the clock. At that point, House Republicans will either grudgingly pass the Senate version and renew their crusade during a debt-ceiling crisis, or shut down the government.
But Senate Democrats could, if they wanted to, pursue a better deal for themselves -- and for the country.


Senate Democrats could, for example, push for a spending measure that scraps the House GOP's Obamacare plan and simultaneously fixes the sequestration policy that's hurting the country. No one can defend the sequester -- it was designed, after all, to impose mindless hardship nationwide -- so some Senate Republicans might even go along.

If the Senate minority balked and mounted a filibuster, they'd be responsible for a government shutdown. If Senate Republicans backed off, Democrats could pass a better bill -- better for economic growth, better for job creation, better for struggling families, better for law enforcement, better for medical research, better for firefighters, etc.

And at that point, House Republicans would face an interesting dilemma.

The House GOP obviously wouldn't be happy, but don't forget, they're not going to like the Senate version anyway since it will fund the Affordable Care Act. So if Republicans are going to be angry no matter what Senate Dems do, shouldn't Democrats pursue a bill they actually like? One that better serves the nation's interests?


Indeed, if a significant number of House Republicans are going to reject the Senate version anyway, and support from House Democrats will be necessary to get this bill across the finish line in time, the Senate could make it a whole lot easier to generate support from House Dems if they aimed a little higher in their ambitions.

There are 200 House Democrats. Faced with the prospect of a government shutdown that the GOP would be blamed for, there aren't 18 House Republicans who would vote for the Senate version that scraps a sequestration policy that Republicans say they don't like anyway? Of course there are.

GOP officials would howl, but (a) they're already howling; and (b) do Democrats really care? Should they? Were Republicans concerned about how Dems would react when they passed their ridiculous continuing resolution?
And the idea is catching on among Senate Democrats..

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