Saturday, October 12, 2013

Next phase: Rejecting the offers

In late September, all the offers to continue funding government came attached to poison pills for Obamacare. Obama and the Dems unsurprisingly said "no" with a great deal of firmness.

Now there is a flurry of offers minus those poison apples for Obamacare, but Obama and the Dems are still saying "no." The House GOP made an unbelievably generous offer of extending the debt limit for six weeks, keeping the government shut down, not alternating Obamacare yet, and holding negotiations with Obama (still the great enemy, but one who must be negotiated with). Obama said "no," and the House GOP are so hurt and insulted that they won't be trying to be reasonable like that again for a while.

So the playing field shifts to the Senate. The Dems voted on their wishlist, but lost 53-45 because 60 is the new 51 in the Senate. Susan Collins (R-Maine) offered a 3 month debt limit extension, six months of government funding, and a 2-year delay in the medical device tax in Obamacare. Harry Reid rejected that offer--it sounds like he didn't even allow a vote. These Dems are getting so picky about these offers.

It's easy to understand both sides want to maximize what they get, but I hope the Dems don't overdo it. We better not go into default over a $19 billion differential and a delay to one of several funding provisions in Obamacare.

Not that I think we'll reach default. The Senate Dems and GOP are quite close, and they're still talking, so they'll get closer still. They'll hammer out a deal and pass it with probably 65+ votes (had originally predicted 70, but I'm a bit more pessimistic one day later).

Then it will be up to the House to eat crow and sign on, or plunge the country and entire world into financial uncertainty. The majority in the House aren't that stubborn or stupid, so we will have an agreement. Hoorah! Our parks will reopen, cancer research can resume, the House gym will reopen for House idiot and hero alike, hundred of minor or larger annoyances will end, and my furloughed sister can get back to working too hard. We'll also finally have the budget negotiations we should have had five months ago. Sigh. So much sturm und drang.


Extra. What should sidelined Tea Partiers do? Hunt RINOs, throw accusations, beatify Ted Cruz, and send Hail Mary checks to Tea Party groups and candidates.

Edit 10/14/13. Concerning how many votes the deal will get in the Senate: I'm not a voter counter. I don't know all the electoral considerations that will drive individual senators. However, I think that a fair number of GOP senators would like to be able to say that they helped avert a default.


Dangerous said...

Okay MP, I'm going to have to disagree with your analysis of the dynamics. Susan Collins and her GOP masters are experts at making a deal sound reasonable. But in this case they are simply the lawyers for the hostage-takers, trying to take advantage of two situations:

1) There is always an incentive to pay off the ransom just to get things resolved. Of course, that just leads to more hostage-taking. So the media keeps talking about a "deal" when only the hostage-takers benefit from any sort of deal.

2) They are just the lawyers for the hostage-takers and they know it. If they can get the Dems to give in the Senate, even more pressure will be on them to give more to the House, which will be newly emboldened to seek more concessions as ransom once they see that the Dems caved even a little bit. After all, the same dynamics for a "deal" will still be in place.

This whole thing could end if the House just put up a clean C.R. to re-open the government and a clean debt limit increase with no string attached and no demands or talk of a "deal". The Dems have to the GOP something from their wish list to re-open the government? Or to avoid the first-ever government default?

The American people clearly see who are the hostage-takers seeking a ransom for doing something they need to do anyway. It's the House and Senate Republicans seeking political gains for their agenda that they couldn't secure in the last election. While the media wants to be "fair" in their coverage so as to avoid offending large portions of their audience, an impartial party would see the situation for what it is. 98% GOP fault, 2% President Obama. The only reason President Obama deserves any blame for something only Congress can do -- and what the GOP in Congress refuses to do without compensation -- is that he was too soft with them before. That hardly excuses who the GOP is behaving now.

Boner can put it up for a vote. The GOP will be split and take it on the chin, but that's the bed they made for themselves.


ModeratePoli said...


You're stuck in a bunch of hyperbole instead of thinking clearly and without bias.

1. We aren't in the ransom situation anymore. This is negotiation, and Collins is using leverage appropriately.

2. Collins is a lawyer for hostage-takers? No, she isn't standing up for Ted Cruz. Most of the Senate GOPers weren't in favor of what Cruz was doing. So bullshit on that.

You're a little behind on your news if you think the only issue is a clean CR. Right now the Dems are trying to undo some of the sequester and stay at a higher funding level. I don't call that "hostage-taking" on the Dems' part because it's normal in negotiation.

So if the negotiation is centering on how long a CR/DL increase, funding level, and a delay of the medical device tax, do you still call that hostage-taking? I don't because the parties are close enough that they'll settle unless one side or the other refuses to make any concessions.

Dangerous said...

But MP, Susan Collins does NOT represent the House, which will reject this "deal" while pocketing the Dem concessions. That what they did in 2011 and for the entire ACA debate. Then, they vote against everything.

I think you're not thinking or seeing clearly. You take Sen. Collin's proposal as some sort of olive branch. But they don't give up anything. They still demand concessions to lower the sequester spending level and for other items, while all they do is reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling for the next round of hostage-taking.

How is opening the government or raising the debt limit a concession? That's the point the Dems are right to press since the GOP wants to claim that they want the government opened and the debt limit raised. Of course, that's a lie. They want the leverage of those events, but not the negative PR from it.

Open the government and raise the debt limit clean, then we have balance "negotiations" when the Dems can argue for their priorities and the GOP can argue for theirs, without the country held hostage.

ModeratePoli said...

@dangerous, The House will have to take what the Senate dishes out all will have blame for the debt limit breach fallout. That's a huge risk, and the majority of the House, maybe even the majority of House R's, won't take that chance.

By the way, I don't take the Collins proposal as an olive branch. It's a reasonable proposal without obvious spoilers in it.

What is the Dems' proposal? What are the details on that? If they're not asking for much more than status quo, that means something. I'd like to hear what you think they should be asking for.

I think it means that the Dems know they can't ask for more--more spending, more taxes, higher deficits--because that would be immensely unpopular.

ModeratePoli said...

The first sentence should be: The House will have to take what the Senate dishes out or will have all the blame for the debt limit breach fallout.