April 3, 2011
-- by Dave Johnson
Get this: Now the Republicans say if ANY Democrats vote for a budget, something is wrong with it and they won't let it pass.
Boehner wants to pass spending cuts with GOP alone. SO their strategy is to convince Senate Dems to support things that only House Republicans support, otherwise nothing can pass.
It motivates him to battle for the votes of conservative Republicans who are demanding deeper spending cuts, and greater changes to social issues such as abortion access, than the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Barack Obama say they can accept.
If Boehner can argue convincingly that it's the only route to House passage, Democrats conceivably could yield on some points they might otherwise win.
And the precedent is a refusal to allow bipartisanship:
Hastert had a "majority of the majority" rule. It meant he would bring no major bill to the House floor unless most Republicans supported it.
It didn't matter if every House Democrat backed the bill, which would allow it to pass with a minority of Republicans. In essence, Democrats' votes were irrelevant to Hastert. Boehner is taking a similar approach, at least publicly.
And, of course Senate Democrats (the House of Lords) go along. We move ever to the right, Democrats in the habit of conceding everything.
"Not very interested," Boehner told reporters last week when asked about forming a coalition with Democrats to pass the legislation to keep the government operating.
Posted by Dave Johnson at April 3, 2011 8:05 AM
Boehner wants 218 Republican votes while Hastert needed just a majority of the GOP. Boehner's "standards" are about 100 votes higher. It's worth noting that much of the worst legislation passed by Democratic Presidents only made it into law with a lot of GOP votes (NAFTA, for one).
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