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September 21, 2011 08:40 PM UTC

Democrats Uncharacteristically Showing Political Strength?

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: ABC News reports, this didn’t go the way John Boehner planned at all:

In a major setback to House Speaker John Boehner, the House of Representatives voted tonight 195-230 to reject a stop-gap measure to fund the federal government through Nov. 18 over disagreements on the level of disaster relief funding in the bill.

Despite the GOP’s confidence that the continuing resolution [CR] would pass, 48 House Republicans bucked their GOP colleagues to join the vast majority of House Democrats in their opposition. Just six Democrats voted with 189 Republicans in favor of the measure…

The obvious question now is what happens next? The current CR that keeps the government running runs out at the end of the fiscal year next Friday, Sept. 30. But the House and Senate are both scheduled to be out of session next week for the Rosh Hashanah holiday, so lawmakers are scrambling to bridge their differences in order to avoid a government shutdown.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called on Republicans to bring a clean CR to the floor and separately pass the Senate’s legislation to increase disaster relief funding.

We know. Democrats…actually aware…that they have the upper hand! It’s weird.


Los Angeles Times:

Talk of a federal government shutdown is escalating as Congress appears unable to resolve a dispute over federal disaster aid, with Republicans insisting that assistance be paid for with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Days remain for Congress to end the stalemate or risk shutting down the federal government. The disaster aid is included in a broader bill to fund the government for the first weeks of the 2012 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

“Nobody’s intending to bring about a government shutdown,” said Republican Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader. “The country’s sort of seen enough of that.” [Pols emphasis]

The GOP-led House expects to vote Wednesday on the government funding bill, but it is unclear if the legislation will have enough votes to pass…

House Republican leaders are likely to need Democratic votes to pass the government funding bill because of dissatisfaction from conservatives with the legislation — the right flank wants deeper cuts across government.

Bloomberg adds–is it possible that demanding even more budget cuts to offset disaster relief was a step too far, after Republicans unilaterally forced an economic crisis in July over the debt limit? Is it possible that both parties have figured out who actually won that battle?

“We don’t think that while fires are raging and while the waters are flowing is the time to come argue about how to find an offset,” said Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat. “We will eventually pay for it, but we can argue about that later. Right now, people need help.”

The dispute raises the specter of a shutdown because the disaster assistance is attached to a measure needed to fund the government until Nov. 18. Congress is in recess next week.

With polls showing voters unhappy with the rancor that marked this year’s battle over the debt ceiling and eager for Congress to focus on job creation, Republicans downplayed the chances the government would have to close its doors…

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said he is “not that sure” a shutdown will be avoided. “We’re not going to cave in on this because it’s a matter of principle,” he said.

Suddenly, the same Rep. Eric Cantor who was so willing, even eager, to bring the U.S. economy and government to a standstill in July over an arbitrary “debt limit” is reticent to do so over his demands for more cuts to offset disaster relief–and Democrats are finally pushing back. According to every poll we’ve seen, they could have pushed back in July, too.

Better late than never, right?


10 thoughts on “Democrats Uncharacteristically Showing Political Strength?

  1. for raising taxes on the highest earners and biggest corporations before cutting medicare benefits, etc. has them spooked. Their Jedi “These are not the droids you’re looking for” distraction technique seems to losing some of its efficacy.  Maybe they’re afraid people are starting to seem them for the servants of the bloodsuckers they really are.

    1. I think there is some fatigue with political infighting, but large numbers of the nation’s most active and motivated voters are still solidly behind the Republicans, and the goal of restraining out of control government spending. Democrats have been able to make a case for exceptions, but not the overall goal of reducing the size of government.

      In this case, Republicans are more willing to negotiate because we can afford to be. Since the 2010 elections, we control the agenda and Democrats react to it where they can.

      1. Most voters support reducing taxes and the size of the government. However, they are also opposed to any reduction in the services they receive from government.

        I personally am opposed to going on a diet or exercising. And I insist that I should be in good shape with no extra weight.

      2. Republicans were unwilling to negotiate because they didn’t need to because they won the House.

        You should talk to the people who write your talking points, make sure the Wednesday guy is on the same page as the Monday guy.

      3. I think there is some fatigue with political infighting, but large numbers of the nation’s most active and motivated voters are still solidly behind the Republicans

        Can we read that as “even though a huge majority of Americans are against us, our disenfranchisement efforts are strong enough that we’re confident we can steal elections anyway”?

  2. The dominate characteristic of the Obama administration is to take an overwhelming position and then give the Republicans everything they want – and more.

    So with days left in this month, there is still plenty of time to give it away.

    If they don’t, then we can start talking about the Dem’s finding a tiny piece of brass in the back parking lot.

    1. Just hope the Obama administration and Dem leadership really do break with precedent ths time. There’s still time for that, too.  Not a whole bunch and it would have been more helpful a long time ago….

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