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View Diary: Filibustered Senate Sequestration Replacement Bill Was a Beautiful Thing - RIP (74 comments)

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  •  Replacing cuts now with (4+ / 0-)
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    eXtina, VClib, Jon Says, Alfuso

    increased taxes now and spending cuts to happen later, as this bill does, is just not going to happen as long as the Republicans control the House.  

    Republicans think that when a deal includes spending cuts to take place later those spending cuts will not happen, because Congress will reverse the spending cuts.  I think that's why they are all suddenly enamored of the sequester, because this is one time that spending cuts "later" are actually going to happen.  

    The sequester is about $44 billion in cuts for the remainder of the fiscal year. I think that if Democrats propose something that amounts to $44 billion this fiscal year, that could be a combination of tax increases (like the carried interest thing) and spending cuts now.  But I don't see any way that Republicans will ever agree to trade spending cuts now for tax increases now and spending cuts later.

    •  Boner said 'get off your ass and do something' - (2+ / 0-)
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      elwior, ferg

      they did, (or would have done) and it would be pretty embarrassing for him to then not take a vote on it

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:14:52 PM PST

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      •  It would have been voted down (2+ / 0-)
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        VClib, johnny wurster

        even if it had passed the Senate Not a single Senate Republican Senator voted for it, and three Democrats (Pryor, Landrieu, and Hagan) also voted against it.  

        I can't think of any Republican, even those open to the idea of some additional tax increase, who will trade spending cuts now for tax increases and no spending cuts now, but spending cuts later.  That's why I said, as long as Republicans control the House, that kind of proposal is a non-starter.  

        •  Hastert's rule has been broken before (3+ / 0-)
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          elwior, eXtina, kurious

          Without Reid's filibuster, there would be a chance to soften the sequester.

          "Senate Rejects Stopgap Efforts" is the current headline.

          Since Democrats are the Senate majority, that implies that the Democrats rejected the proposal. (Which is true, but only because of Reid's filibuster.)

          •  yep, that's how the evening news spun it (3+ / 0-)
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            elwior, ferg, kurious

            zero discussion of Republican culpability, staying above 'the fray' of the 'blame game' doncha know

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:46:25 PM PST

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          •  No chance even without the filibuster (3+ / 0-)
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            johnny wurster, Jon Says, VClib

            The filibuster matters more in things like confirmation, which don't have to go to the House.  

            This would not have gotten a majority in the House even if it had passed the Senate and even if it had come to the floor of the House for a vote.  I seriously doubt it would have gotten even a single Republican vote in the House.  The fact that there was no filibuster reform did not matter as much in this particular case, because there's no shot this would have gotten through the House.  

            Republicans really, really believe that overall spending should be cut.  People who think they don't believe what they are saying and are doing this just because they are evil, or want revenge against the President, are wrong, I think.  There may be some of that with some of them, but overall, they really believe that spending is too high.  You may think they are really really wrong, but that's what they believe.  And they think that if they give up spending cuts now, the "spending cuts over the next 10 years" won't happen.  I can't see anything that does not cut spending this fiscal year getting any Republican votes.  

            •  the entire dynamic changes (2+ / 0-)
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              eXtina, elwior

              You're looking at it too statically.

              Now, the Republicans can pose however they want, and Boehner can blame the Senate for doing nothing, because everyone knows Reid will filibuster the Senate bill. Now, the sequester happens with only a minimum of token opposition that no one truly believes.

              Without Reid's filibuster, the Senate and the President agree not to harm the economy. It's purely the Republicans who would be demanding the US be punished.

              The longer Boehner's House held out, the more they would hurt their 2014 changes, pressuring the House to do something.

              With Reid's filibuster, the Republicans lose nothing politically, because the Senate Democrats join with the House in opposition. Both sites are blamed (correctly), and the Democrats are hurt for 2014, not the Republicans. In other words, no leverage on the House at all.

              •  I don't think it would have played out that way (1+ / 0-)
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                at all, frankly.

                The House has already -- twice -- passed bills that replaced the sequester with other cuts.  All they would have to do is take the Senate bill, amend it to take out the tax increases and to add in spending cuts this fiscal year, and pass that.  Speaker Boehner clearly has the votes now to pass what he passed twice last year.  The Senate bill would not get a single Republican vote, and the House bill would not get  single Democratic vote.

                And we'd be exactly where we are now -- the story would be that Republicans want to replace the sequester with other spending cuts starting immediately, and Democrats want to replace the sequester with tax increases now and spending cuts down the road (over the next 10 years).  

                Frankly, I think some people are reading too much into these details.  The vast majority of the public isn't going to look at those details, even if the Senate bill had not been filibustered and had passed with 51 votes.   Down the road, if/when people start to feel bad effects as a result of the filibuster, they are going to blame everybody -- the President and both parties in Congress.  And I think that everybody in Washington knows that, which is why the blame game is in high gear right now.    

                •  Frankly? (1+ / 0-)
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                  "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

                  by elwior on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:15:08 PM PST

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                •  With Ferg (1+ / 0-)
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                  Coffee--your points are logical but I think Ferg has it right. Using the majority threshold puts Reid in a much stronger negotiating position with Boehner. As it is now, Boehner knows that McConnell can effectively veto anything that Reid wants to do because of the filibuster--this makes Boehner even stronger. If Reid could bargain on equal footing, then Boehner has no choice but to negotiate in order to get something done. At some point, both sides have to agree on something. This is why McConnell is such a big force in any negotiation! See how irrelevant Pelosi is even though without her, Boenher can't get anything passed that the Senate and the President will sign off on. Without a filibuster-proof majority, McConnell is just as strong (in some ways stronger) as Reid because as long as his caucus holds together, nothing can pass without his approval despite the fact that Dems hold a 55 to 45 advantage. Last point, the Senate was never designed to require a super majority to pass bills. Because of the hyper obstruction by Repubs, they have created the perception that 60 votes are needed for everything. Reid could have changed this dynamic with filibuster reform. The Repubs won't be the least bit reluctant to change the rules once they get back in power. Senate Dems will have essentially wasted 8 years of being in the majority if Repubs take over the Senate in 2014. Should this happen, there is only one thing that would prevent Repubs from making a rule change---Joe Biden. Rule changes without a super majority require the Vice President's participation.

      •  eXtina - The Speaker would have never (1+ / 0-)
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        allowed the Senate bill on the floor of the House and would feel no embarrassment whatsoever because he has been clear that no bills that include tax increases will be considered.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:46:01 PM PST

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    •  In the frequent history of "balanced" programs (3+ / 0-)
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      coffeetalk, Jon Says, Alfuso

      the tax increases always happen and early and the spending cuts sometimes happen and later. The Republicans have seen that play before and, as you note, will never buy into it again.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:37:52 PM PST

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