Thursday, May 9, 2013

Eye Recommend --- The House Prefers Chaos to Order

THE HOUSE PREFERS CHAOS TO ORDER, by  the New York Times Editorial Board --
In March of this year, the U.S. Senate called the House's bluff and finally passed a budget.  Nearly two months later, Republicans are in danger of being the ones caught with egg on their face.
On Sunday, The New York Times Editorial Board printed an excellent analysis of the phony promises of co-operation that John Boehner and his House Republicans promised after the 2012 election.  It shows just how dishonest their calls for budgetary order really are.
 (The underlines are mine.)
"'Regular order!'  That has been the demand of House Republicans for three years, insisting on a return to the distant days when Congress actually passed budget resolutions and spending bills, instead of paying for the government through shortsighted stopgap measures.

'Senate Democrats have done nothing,'  Speaker John Boehner said on Meet the Press on March 3, referring to the Senate's failure to pass a budget since 2009.  'It's time for them to vote.  It's time for us to get back to regular order here in Congress.'  The two chambers could try to resolve their differences in a conference committee, he said, 'and maybe come to some agreement.'

But a funny thing happened a few days after those comments were made:  the Senate agreed to that demand and actually passed a budget.  Suddenly all those Republican cries for regular order stopped...  

...A few days ago, when Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, tried to appoint members of a conference committee, Republicans refused to allow it, saying it would cause 'complications for the House'...
Complications?  When did hearing debate, considering compromises and actually allowing a vote become "complications"?  
...(With the creation of a conference committee) Republicans would have to compromise.  The Senate would have to agree to some of the House's spending cuts, and the House would have to agree to some of the Senate's spending increases and the tax increases on the rich to pay for them.  As the country has learned in recent years, House Republicans are incapable of compromise on those issues.

Being intransigent in a formal budget conference, however, would put Republicans in a bind...If a conference did not produce an agreement in 20 days, members could offer 'motions to instruct' the committee that require debate and a vote, which the speaker could not use his usual powers to stop....

House leaders are stalling by insisting on a 'preconference,'...Clearly what is frustrating Republicans is that they do not have an imminent crisis to exploit to get their way...

...The demands for regular order were hollow and dishonest.  The only way House Republicans can achieve their extremist agenda is not through preserving order, but by causing chaos.
The ball is in the House's court.  It will be interesting to see how they justify their failure to act.

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