Just like under Obama’s last couple of years, House Republicans still let Democrats decide their limits.
Like a prisoner who still acts like a captive even when he’s been released, House Republicans still act like Democrats have the upper hand. This is probably mostly due to the Democrat-controlled media environment. As Donald Trump has shown us, the only way to govern like a Conservative is to openly despise the media as the fake news they are. Otherwise, you are owned by them.
Christopher Jacobs reports, “To Prove Democrats Run Congress Even In The Minority, Check Out The Latest Spending Fight.”
In short, because Democrats might object. Appropriations measures need 60 votes to break a Senate filibuster, and Democrats have said they will not vote for any bill that includes so-called “poison pill” appropriations riders. The definition of a “poison pill” of course lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Politico wrote about the spending process six weeks ago, noting that new Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Ranking Member Pat Leahy (D-VT) “have resolved to work out matters privately. Both parties have agreed to hold their noses to vote for a bill that they consider imperfect, but good enough.”
That “kumbaya” dynamic has led Senate Republican leaders and appropriators to try and avoid the Cruz amendment entirely. They don’t want to vote against the amendment, because conservatives like me support it and will (rightly) point out their hypocrisy if they do. But they don’t want the amendment to pass either, because they fear that Democrats won’t vote to pass the underlying bill if it does. So they hope the amendment will die a quiet death.
It’s a kabuki show, an exercise in failure theater. On the downside, the amendment may not pass, because appropriators don’t want it to. But on the upside, if provisions like the Cruz amendment remain out of the bill, at least Congress will get the opportunity to bust through budget caps and go on another spending binge!
At this point some leadership types might point out that it’s easy for people like me to sit on the sidelines and criticize, but that Republicans in Congress must actually govern. That point has more than a grain of truth to it.
On the other hand, “governing” for Republicans usually means “governing like Democrats.” Case in point: The sorry spectacle I described in March, wherein Republican committee chairmen—who, last I checked, won election two years ago on a platform of repealing Obamacare—begged Democrats to include a bailout of Obamacare’s exchanges in that month’s 2,200-page omnibus appropriations bill.
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