Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Will Republicans Lose The House Because Of What They're Passing Or Because They're Bogged Down In Internal Conflict?


A couple of months ago AARP ran TV ads warning of the dangerous to seniors inherent in TrumpCare. Now, they're about to spend over a million dollars to run more ads, this time targeting key Republican senators-- the 5 they ran ads against in May-- Jeff Flake (AZ), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Dan Sullivan (AK), Cory Gardner (CO) and Dean Heller (NV)-- plus 6 more: Chuck Grassley (IA), Joni Ernst (IA), Rob Portman (OH), Lamar Alexander (TN), Bob Corker (TN) and Shelley Moore Capito (WV). They're especially incensed over the age tax-- a provision put in the bill by Freedom Caucus chief Mark Meadows (R-NC) that allows insurers to charge seniors five times more than younger people.

AARP also has been making the case that TrumpCare undermines protections for people with pre-existing conditions and weakens both Medicare and Medicaid.

Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Dean Heller (R-NV) are two of the only endangered Senate Republicans for 2018. Tuesday, Flake's Arizona colleague (and ally), John McCain told executives at a Wall Street Journal event that the Republicans aren't getting much done and are at risk of losing the House. He's right about them being at risk of losing the House but it has more to do with what they have gotten done-- and threaten to get down-- than with their failures for moving much of Trump's or Ryan's toxic agendas. This ad is going to be playing in the Phoenix and Tucson media markets until the Senate votes on TrumpCare. It's probably not what Flake is looking to see in his senior-heavy state so close to his reelection campaign.

But back to McCain's point about the House Republicans being unable to get much done, Rachel Bade did some reporting this week for Politico on how internal GOP feuding is threatening the passage of a budget. The problems stems, at least in part, from the inability of Tennessee crackpot Diane Black, chair of the Budget Committee, to run a committee. Everything she does is in the service of the extremists in the Freedom Caucus and mainstream conservatives are left wondering what's in the third ring of the circus.

The Republicans seem deadlocked and "bickering over priorities and spending levels have all but ground the process to a halt." One of the nuts on the committee, Arkansas right-winger Steve Womack complained that "It’s a lot of divisive issues within the committee-- which is also a reflection of the conference-- that has dogged us for a long time… There is absolutely no clarity into what we’re doing." This feeds into the feeling that the Republicans are not a governing party but a natural opposition party. They can't get anything done because they are so factionalized and their constituencies are so widely divergent, with bizarre, brain dead extremists sending people like Louie Gohmert and Diane Black to Congress and then relatively normal people electing more mainstream conservatives in states like California, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Washington and Florida.

Bade wrote that "the feud pits defense hawks demanding more money for the Pentagon against appropriators unwilling to offset such increases with what they deem unrealistic cuts to non-defense programs like housing or transportation. And while many Republicans are already calling on leaders to negotiate with Democrats and raise spending caps put in place years ago, conservatives want to go the opposite direction and take an ax to welfare programs."

One of the most senior Republicans on the Budget Committee, Tom Cole (R-OK) explained that they "still have the same divisions as the conference has: we still have defense hawks, we still have budget hawks… and we still have humble appropriators. So those debates haven’t been fought out."
With all parties showing an unwillingness to cave, a darker mood has settled over the conference. Republicans railed for years about the importance of budgeting and fiscal responsibility. But now in control of Washington's key levers, their inability to pass a budget represents a huge embarrassment.

“Right now, a budget cannot pass in the House of Representatives,” said Freedom Caucus ringleader Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) at a Friday Heritage Foundation event. “It can’t.”

Republicans increasingly think the window for approving a budget resolution is closing. Asked his own thoughts on the budget, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) laughed. “I have to smile because you made an assumption there that there is going to be a budget,” he said.

Others agree with him. “Unless we get it on the floor in the next couple weeks, I don't think it’s going to happen,” one GOP aide close to the budget process said.

House Republicans could decide on a path forward as soon as this week. Speaker Paul Ryan told lawmakers Tuesday that he plans to lay out the possible scenarios for this year’s budget cycle at another members-only meeting on Friday, according to a GOP appropriations aide.

Failing to pass a budget has far-reaching consequences for Republicans. The document sets top-line spending numbers that greenlight appropriators to begin writing funding bills. The delay has already forced GOP appropriators to work backwards by writing bills without any official word about how much to spend.
And, remember, this budget the Republicans are arguing over includes Ryan's Medicare "reforms" that many think could lose the Republicans dozens of seats if they are ever enacted. The extreme right of the party-- lunatic fringe Republicans like Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Black herself-- think the way to go is to make drastic cuts-- many billions of dollars-- to Medicare, food stamps, farm subsidies, housing assistance for the poor, even Social Security programs. Republican approval ratings are so low, that many of them feel even these kinds of draconian measures can't push them any lower.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 4:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get off it. They WON'T lose the House because:
1. Their plutocrat base knows exactly which side its bread is buttered on, and
2. The Southern Strategy / Reagan Democrat voters are too dim to figure out who's screwing them. They'll continue to believe - perhaps without quite so much enthusiasm - that the blame belongs to the Dems who sell out their birthright to the Nigras, Mooslims and Welfare Queens (to say nothing of coddling all the "bad dudes" who come across the border). Hell, these people are so stupid that they won't even accept that Bill Clinton's weak-tea assault rifle limitations (nowhere near a ban) would have spared at least some of yesterday's bloodshed at the ball field.

2018 Congress still belongs to the bigger liars, and wouldn't I just love to be wrong!

At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

agreed, 4:03

Plus, and this may be the biggest factor, most of them will be running against Pelosi's hand-picked corporate whores and opportunistic former Rs who voters repeatedly reject. Unless the R incumbent, literally, takes a dump on his dinner plate or is caught sodomizing a 3rd-grader (a black one!), they don't have much to fear.

You think the R caucus is dysfunctional? Wait until the Ds get a majority. Pelosi, hoyer et al will look like the keystone cops or the stooges trying not to pass all the good shit they've been advocating since the drumpfsterfire beat the DNC-forced whore-loser in 2016.

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Internal Conflict is why the GOP fails.

Just look at the states where the GOP is completely unfettered: Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin. In those states, the GOP just pumps out their grievous crimes against society like water flowing downhill with no impediment. It was supposed to be the same at the National level now that the GOP controls every bit of the government. That it hasn't is a testament to the internal divisions which are the only thing which gives me any hope that the nation just MIGHT survive this assault on the majority of us citizens.

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't just look at what they WANT to pass but can't (denying 24 million health care, destroying the environment, breeding another generation of the dumbest kids ever, making more millionaires into billionaires, etc), but also look at what their disagreements are all about (how many and how fast to cause bankruptcies and dead bodies, how and how fast to move capital from the bottom to the top, how many workplace injuries and deaths are fine, how many rivers can be poisoned forever with coal ash...).

Then ponder this: the entire party who wants most of us to die and doesn't care about the earth will most likely enjoy majorities again after the 2018 election. This means that a majority of voters WANT all of the above.

We're just about where Nazi Germany was in about 1933 and heading to same circa 1941. The red states are Bavaria and the blue states will soon be "good germans" who pledge fealty to the fuhrer even if they don't want everyone to die.

I predicted our current reality back in 2000 and 2010.
I'll check back in 4 years to see if I'm correct about the next prediction.


Post a Comment

<< Home