Newbie Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was sure he could do what the experienced former Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) could not. Ah, the hubris of the inexperienced.
It turns out that Ryan is also failing, and failing big time, when it comes to even the smallest of efforts to pass a budget and restore some semblance of an image that the House is doing its job. After weeks of delay, with a looming April 15 deadline, Ryan is looking at a fractured House hijacked by extremists who are dismantling the normal course of business yet again.
Conservatives are in “open rebellion”, Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office wrote in a memo that included a round up of coverage that is less than inspiring regarding Republican leadership.
“For weeks the House GOP has been conducting another internal debate about the best fiscal strategy. Congress is supposed to pass the annual budget resolution by April 15 that sets spending targets for 2017. But backbenchers and outside groups continue to rebel against last year’s 2016-17 budget deal that former House Speaker John Boehner negotiated before his exit… The resolution thus may lack a 218-vote majority, which could potentially negate the agreement by the end of the year.
“… The result of either failing to pass a resolution or passing a resolution in the House that can’t pass the Senate would probably be to lapse back into the dysfunction…”
“An effort by House Republican leaders to push forward a fiscal 2017 budget resolution suffered a major setback Monday night, when the conservative Freedom Caucus bucked party leaders to declare its opposition to the plan…
“The decision likely dooms efforts to pass the current version of the budget framework in the full House, since it means the GOP probably would be unable to muster the 218 votes needed to secure passage of a partisan plan that Democrats are sure to oppose. The Freedom Caucus position means at least 30 of its roughly 40 members voted against the plan in their closed-door meeting Monday night.”
“Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus said Monday night they would not support the federal budget deal proposed by House Republican leadership, putting the spending plan — and the entire appropriations process for the year — in serious jeopardy…
“At least 30 members of the roughly 40-member Freedom Caucus voted to formally oppose the budget. Those 30-some members are vital for the Republican budget. Without their support, the document would lack a majority of House votes…
“If there is no budget, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has intimated there won’t be appropriations bills. A return to the regular legislative process for appropriations was a key tenet of Ryan’s pitch for the speakership.”
Their opposition will likely guarantee the budget’s doom.
The House Freedom Caucus will oppose a $1.07 trillion budget backed by Republican leaders, likely assuring that the fiscal package will fail if put up for a vote on the House floor.
Leaders of the conservative group said Monday night that they plan to vote against the package because it does not go far enough to cut spending. It’s a crippling blow for GOP leaders, who repeatedly said passing a budget was a major goal for 2016.
As the House Budget Committee prepares to mark up a budget resolution, the conservative Freedom Caucus announced Monday it has enough votes to block the measure’s passage on the House floor.
The Budget Committee sent out notice of the mark up less than hour after the Freedom Caucus gathered Monday night at Tortilla Coast and took an official position against the budget.
The House Freedom Caucus on Monday voted to oppose the House GOP’s budget strategy, throwing up a major hurdle to the party’s attempt to begin passing spending bills…
The conservative group said it opposed the plan presented by the House Budget Committee earlier that night, ending a weeks-long attempt by GOP leaders to unite the party behind a budget blueprint.
The move cuts off a crucial voting bloc that the party needs to begin passing spending bills, a key priority of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
This thing that is not extreme enough for Republicans did not impress leader Pelosi either. She condemned the cruelty in a statement, “The Republican Congress has grown so cruelly dysfunctional that the Tea Party wing of the House GOP already opposes the budget as insufficiently radical – even with $6 trillion in cuts and ending the Medicare guarantee.”
“A budget is a statement of our values,” Pelosi explained. “With their latest budget proposal, House Republicans have made their values very clear: strengthen the special interests, abandon seniors and hard-working families.”
And here we go again Pelosi noted as she reiterated that the George W Bush plan to financial freedom didn’t work then and it won’t work now, “Once again, Republicans are trying to take us back to the radical trickle down agenda that shattered our economy and hollowed out the wages of middle-class Americans.”
So in a nutshell, while Republicans are doubling down on austerity for you but not for their corporate overlords, it’s not enough for the radical wing of their party. It’s not enough to double down on George W Bush’s policies. They want to blow this whole place up.
So just as we are seeing in the presidential primary on the Republican side, the extremists are leading the GOP to failure again and again but the few allegedly “moderate” Republicans left lack the political courage to stand up to them. So we have a House full of either GOP cowards being massively trolled by GOP jihadists. Not a good look. This is how they got Donald Trump, by the way.
John Boehner is probably somewhere smoking a cigarette and smiling.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.