by David Safier
Rumors are circulating that a group of Southern Arizona Democratic senators are cutting a deal with Republican Senate President Andy Biggs over the budget. The deal is, if Biggs gives the Democrats the Medicaid expansion they want, they'll vote for his Tea Party budget, no matter how repugnant it may be to progressive values.
If a few Senate Dems give Biggs their votes, it will allow him to cut out some of the more moderate Republicans who object to parts of his far right budget and still have enough votes to pass it.
I'm confused about why any Democrats would consider playing Let's Make a Deal at this stage of the budget game. Brewer is playing hardball with members of her own party over the Medicaid expansion and it's looking like time is on her side, so why would Democrats make a Medicaid deal they very possibly will get without giving away the rest of the budget? Doesn't it make more sense to allow the Republicans to fight this one out and force the Tea Party wing to make budgetary concessions to members of their party who've retained a bit of their sanity, or even give Democrats a bit of leverage if the Republicans can't pull together a majority on their own?
You have to wonder what the Democrats in question have to gain personally from this kind of maneuver. What, if anything, have they been promised?
This is still in the rumor stage, but it's not idle gossip. It may make sense for Southern AZ Democrats to contact their senators and ask them straight out if they're making a deal with Biggs.