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Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Paul Ryan Sounding Very Un-Boehner-esque

by JASmius

Looks like the new House Speaker is bringing his meat cleaver collection to the party:

Newly-anointed House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday raised the specter of a possible government shutdown in December.

Ryan told the White House and [other] Democrat lawmakers that Republicans are serious about cutting government spending and are prepared to fight.

The warning came after a two-year budget deal, hammered out under Ryan's predecessor John Boehner, was signed by Barack Obama. But the deeply-divided House and Senate still need to OK a funding bill that sets levels for federal agencies.

"This is the legislative branch, and the power of the purse rests within the legislative branch. And we fully expect that we are going to exercise that power," Ryan when asked if he would attach so-called "policy riders" to a spending bill that Congress needs to approve before December 11th, CNN reported.

Yes, talk is cheap.  Yes, Speaker Ryan will be herding the same cats that Speaker Boehner was for the preceding five years, and we saw how that turned out, in every sense.  But you would never have heard such fiestiness from the retired Ohioan.  And throwing down such a verbal gauntlet without meaning it or being committed to following through on it would be pretty stupid of Mr. Munster, since meekly "bipartisanly" folding the House GOP hand again mere weeks after having taken the Big Gavel and uttered a challenge like this one would combust his Speakership before it ever had a chance to get started.  And while Paul Ryan may be many things, I'd like to think that we could all agree that "stupid" isn't one of them.

The next Senate Democrat leader, Chucky Schumer (D-NY) was partially right in his retort that "I think we will win the fight, more so now after winning this part of the fight and all the tumult in the Republican caucus. The public is beginning to see how crazy they are" - the House Freedom Caucus was crazy.  Then they (mostly) closed ranks and got beyond Paul Ryan as the new Speaker of the House.  Now they may be more accurately characterized as "crazy like a fox," especially in light of this recent polling result:

A divided public thinks it's worth shutting the government or halting its ability to borrow to pay bills unless Barack Obama consents to spending cuts, an Associated Press-GfK poll has found....

Fifty percent in the poll said Congress should only increase federal borrowing authority if government spending is substantially cut - a trade-off Republicans frequently demand but last won in a 2011 showdown with Obama.

John Boehner threw away that opportunity.  Paul Ryan looks like he's going to take up the next one.  Let's see what he can do.

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