Friday, April 15, 2016

GOP Civil War Stalling FY 2017 Budget

by JASmius

This is why John Boehner quit last fall, this is why nobody wanted to succeed him, and this is why Paul Ryan had to be dragged to the Speakership and have the Big Gavel forced upon him: The House Republican majority is fundamentally and utterly incapable of governing.

Or, if you want the distilled version, get ready for Omnibus or CROmnibus 2016:

House Republicans are departing Washington having missed a deadline to pass their long-stalled budget and not appearing to be trying very hard to revive it.

So much for "regular order".

Continuing divisions between tea party lawmakers and House GOP leaders also shelved an effort to address an economic crisis in Puerto Rico....

The budget failure, while embarrassing to House Speaker Paul Ryan, isn't stopping the once-dominant House and Senate Appropriations committees from commencing work on spending bills. But trouble on the House floor awaits, where only a handful of the measures seem sure to advance.

Once again, House Freedom Caucus intransigence is guaranteeing precisely the endgame situation they flamed last December: making regular order impossible, stalling multiple separate appropriations bills through any and all refusals to tactically compromise on any of them, leaving most of the budget work undone at the end of the fiscal year in September, forcing the usual end of year crisis-y BS with its short term continuing resolutions and government shutdown melodrama, and winding up with yet another gargantuan discretionary spending bundle that hands all the leverage to the White House and the Democrats and spends more than ANY Republican wants, after which the ones most responsible for it - the HFC - rip their own leadership for "selling out to Obama".

Time was, before the GOP finally retook the Senate in 2014, when Harry (G)Reid was the one unifying excuse behind which House TPers could hide.  Then last year they ramped up the bashing of John Boehner, denouncing him as a "squish" and a "sellout" and an "autocrat" who concentrated too much power in the Speaker's office.  So what's their excuse now?  Dirty Harry has (moderately less) power to block GOP bills in the Senate, and Paul Ryan has devolved power back to the committees.  And yet the results are shaping up to be the same as they've been for the past five years: bitter, recriminatory intra-GOP infighting, no progress, no regular order, and a fiscal train wreck, this time right in the home stretch of the presidential campaign, providing a disastrously fresh reminder to low-information voters of how at least the Democrats can "get things done".

You know that graphic I dislike so much depicting a Minuteman beating the crap out of a be-suited elephant and donkey?  Picture that same setting only with Speaker Ryan grabbing Hal Rogers and Jim Jordan and repeatedly knocking THEIR heads together.  "Compromise, god damn it, and let's get this done, or so help me I'll sew your trunks together!"

As Captain America said to the troops in Italy during his USO tour, "C'mon, guys, we're all on the same team."

Sh'ya , right:

Ryan on Thursday seemed ready to all but throw in the towel on this year's budget drive.

"Part of the problem is we're a victim of the success of the fact that we have appropriation numbers already in law," Ryan explained. "We already have an agreement in law and that has taken pressure off of the budget situation."

"The only thing worse than not doing a budget is spending more money," said Representative Jim Jordan, R-OH4.

Omnibus 2016, here we come.

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