Budget deal gives White House everything it wanted

The House of Representatives, which controls the nation’s purse strings, is dominated by Republicans.  But they just agreed to a budget deal that includes $680 billion in new spending and special-interest tax cuts.  The White House is claiming total victory.  The deal gives the Obama administration what it wanted on Obamacare, immigration, and the environment.  Planned Parenthood will keep its government funding.  Pretty much the only thing Republicans got in return was an end to the ban on oil exports.  Rush Limbaugh is calling for the Republican Party to be disbanded. See this for details.

UPDATE:  The House adopted the budget.

UPDATE:  So has the Senate, and the President has signed it.  Look, this budget does some good things, like give more money to the military, including giving troops a raise.  But it’s a return to the old deficit spending, reversing the budget reforms (for example, the agreement to balance new spending by making cuts elsewhere) of a few years ago.

[Read more...]

The fight for “regular order” in the House

Remember watching “Schoolhouse Rock,” in which you were taught how a “Bill” becomes a “Law,” going through committees and all those other legislative processes until it gets passed and signed?  That’s called “regular order,” and it hasn’t been used in the House of Representatives for years.  Mostly today, bills instead are initiated, negotiated, brought to the floor–or not–by House leadership of both parties.

The “Freedom Caucus” of recently-elected conservatives is routinely accused of undermining former speaker John Boehner and creating legislative paralysis for ideological reasons.  But, as political scientist Ross K. Baker explains, what they are actually fighting for is not ideology at all, but rather a return to “regular order.”

As it is, these junior Congressional representatives are given almost no say in legislation, contrary to the wide participation and transparency made possible by the traditional “regular order.”  (Yes, the members of the Freedom Caucus are conservative, but this is because they mostly came in with the anti-Obama landslide of the last Congressional election.)  The new speaker, Paul Ryan, is said to be sympathetic to the Schoolhouse Rock approach to government, but we shall see. [Read more...]

Republicans pick Paul Ryan as House Speaker

House Republicans nominated Paul Ryan to be Speaker of the House, pretty much assuring his election, scheduled for today.  Some conservatives insist that the party’s last Vice Presidential candidate is not conservative enough, despite Ryan’s reputation as an innovative conservative policy wonk.  But most members of the Freedom Caucus–the home of hardline House conservatives who had been the bane of the previous speaker, John Boehner–voted for Ryan. [Read more...]

Republicans trade spending hike for entitlement reform? | Washington Examiner

The Washington Examiner reports that Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives have arrived at a budget deal.  Basically, Republicans agreed to lift spending caps, keep the government funded, and increase spending in return for some entitlement reforms and some tweaks of Obamacare.

Read the story after the jump.  A good deal?  Bad deal?  At least the House is no longer paralyzed? [Read more...]

Speaker Boehner will resign–from Congress!

House Speaker John Boehner, who has been facing opposition and ouster attempts from many of his fellow Republican, is resigning at the end of October.  Not only from his powerful leadership position, but from Congress!

Might this help Republicans, who have a majority in both houses,  be more effective?  Or will it herald still more chaos in the party? [Read more...]

House Democrats defy Obama on trade deal

Democrats in the House of Representatives gave President Obama a stunning defeat, voting against his free trade deal with Asia despite his personal pleas.  The president’s only reliable allies, ironically, are the Republicans, who promise to find a new way to advance legislation that fast-tracks the Trans-Pacific Partnership. [Read more...]


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