We’ve noted many times that the GOP Senate Conference is rotten to the core, as Harry Reid can count on a supermajority at any given time to pass liberal legislation. Many of us thought that the House was significantly better, although far from perfect. Sadly, the GOP-controlled House adjourned the 2013 session with a bust.
Ever since the details of the budget detail were released, I thought that the House would surely pass the bill only over the objection of a majority of the GOP Conference, thereby violating the Hastert Rule once again. Astoundingly, only 62 members voted against it, just 26% of membership.
This bill was such a no-brainer for Republicans to oppose. Unlike the shutdown bill, which passed with majority Democrat support, Republicans weren’t called upon to ask for something tough, such as defunding Obamacare. All they had to do was pass a clean CR and let the status quo stand, something they have already done earlier this year. Instead they agreed to raise taxes and repeal part of the sequester for two years with promises of a hodgepodge of notional and intangible spending offsets over 10 years. Remember, they will continue to repeal the sequester on an annual basis, yet continue to use offsets spread out over 10 years.
Additionally, this bill takes away a procedural block to passing tax increases in the Senate with a simple majority. It obviates our leverage to fight Obamacare for another two years. And it clears the agenda to focus on other important issues, such as passing Obama’s immigration bill.
Speaking of immigration, there is a very poignant observation worth noting with regards to tonight’s vote. There is only one logical reason why so many Republicans who stood strong under the tougher shutdown fight would vote for this bill – a deal that was politically easy to oppose. Paul Ryan seems to have a level of God-worship following in the House. Notice how so many of the moderate Republicans in the Senate have already opposed the deal, a complete opposite outcome of the October showdown. A larger percentage of the Senate GOP is opposing a worse bill than the October iteration. This is all due to the Paul Ryan effect in the House.
Here is the parting question: if only 62 Republicans are willing to oppose Ryan, how many will oppose him when he pushes through amnesty? After all, now that the budget “mess” is out of the way, there is plenty of time to ram it through.
As this bill heads to the Senate, one must ask the obvious question: Where is Mitch? Did the cat get his tongue?