First up--our president speaks very candidly about the budget deal, and it is good:
"I said, 'You want to repeal health care? Go at it. We'll have that debate. You're not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we're stupid?'" recalled the president of his closed-door negotiations on the bill to fund the federal government until September. (listen to the remarks in the video at left)
Mr. Obama said he told House Speaker John Boehner and members of his staff that he'd spent a year and a half getting the sweeping health care legislation passed -- paying "significant political costs" along the way -- and wouldn't let them undo it in a six-month spending bill.
Also, House Democrats decided to have a little fun with a freshman/Tea Party-heavy GOP majority, and decided to simply vote "present" regarding a budget bill to the right of Ryan's. Here's what happened:
Normally something like that would fail by a large bipartisan margin in either the House or the Senate. Conservative Republicans would vote for it, but it would be defeated by a coalition of Democrats and more moderate Republicans. But today that formula didn't hold. In an attempt to highlight deep divides in the Republican caucus. Dems switched their votes -- from "no" to "present."Because, of course, a truly Tea Party budget would actually outrage most Americans. It would be stupid, dangerous, and completely possible for the current House Republicans this minute to endorse a budget that lets more people go hungry, go without health care, and punishes the people with the least to benefit those with the most.
Panic ensued. In the House, legislation passes by a simple majority of members voting. The Dems took themselves out of the equation, leaving Republicans to decide whether the House should adopt the more-conservative RSC budget instead of the one authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. As Dems flipped to present, Republicans realized that a majority of their members had indeed gone on the record in support of the RSC plan -- and if the vote closed, it would pass. That would be a slap in the face to Ryan, and a politically toxic outcome for the Republican party
They aren't very humane, the GOP, are they? But I suspect the reemergence of Democratic spine is cause for concern--no?