Finger on the button.
FOX News’ Chad Pergram with a surprisingly candid report on a tough week ahead for Speaker John Boehner and the fractious GOP-controlled House:
Next week could very well break the U.S. House of Representatives.
Or, if things go well, the House Republican majority could score two of its biggest legislative victories in quite a while, demonstrating it can govern.
The stakes are high as the GOP plans to debate and approve a budget. It’s a two-step in which Republicans slash spending but maneuver parliamentarily to bolster defense programs, satisfying both fiscal conservatives and budget hawks.
Or, the effort could blow up in the Republicans’ face.
In addition, the House will tiptoe through what has become one of the most-nettlesome votes in Congress: approving a replacement measure to cover the “doc fix” for physicians and seniors who use Medicare.
In the days since the Republican-controlled House and Senate released their competing budget proposals, each has been widely panned as reliant on “gimmicks” to achieve their stated goals–for this year, and to achieve the long held “Tea Party” goal of balancing the budget within a decade. The biggest problem is that, while both budget proposals would fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, they keep the tax revenue generated by it.
In other words, they’re totally unworkable.
The only thing we can add is that when freshman Rep. Ken Buck, one of the loudest and angriest conservatives in the GOP House says his chamber’s plan is not realistic, we’re obliged to take note:
Still, some Republicans aren’t even drinking their own party’s Kool-Aid when leaders extoll the merits of Price’s budget.
“I don’t know anyone who believes we’re going to balance the budget in 10 years,” claimed Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo. “It’s all hooey.” [Pols emphasis]
And one more problem: any conservative alternative likely would be even worse.
[T]here’s a problem when considering a substitute: If the House adopts a substitute before the base resolution (in this case, Price’s budget), that budget wins. The entire process comes to a screeching halt and members never get to Price’s outline.
One senior Republican leadership source told Fox “we’re screwed” if the House OK’s the RSC budget or anything. The source argued the top-line spending numbers in any budget more conservative than Price’s are too low and could have drastic fiscal impact on the entire federal government. [Pols emphasis]
So before we conclude that Ken Buck really is the voice of Republican reason in the budget debate, we should probably ask what his alternative would be. Because there’s every reason to believe what Buck wants would be much worse. The again, based on recent experience, the entire effort from the GOP to produce a budget that the President could sign with this dysfunctional majority is mostly likely a waste of all of our time.
We invite Rep. Buck and his colleagues to prove us wrong.