Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The cracks in the GOP edifice of party unity are now open fissures. Longtime members of Congress who understand that they have an obligation to govern are openly critical of the Tea Party freshmen extremists who only believe in partisan warfare and their radical ideology.
Long-simmering divisions among Republicans burst into public view
Tuesday evening, when GOP senators challenged Tea Party senators
on the Senate floor over their refusal to proceed to formal negotiations
with Democrats over the federal budget. GOP
moderates, conservatives feud over stall tactics on budget:
On one side, Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) insisted that
the GOP must block any effort to name a conference committee to
reconcile differences between the budgets approved by the
Democrat-controlled Senate, which proposes nearly $1 trillion in new
taxes over the next decade, and the Republican House, which proposes to
eliminate the deficit within 10 years entirely through spending cuts.
Their reason: Democrats can’t be trusted not to sneak in an automatic increase in the federal debt limit.
fight right now is the fight over the debt ceiling, because what it
would mean if we go to a conference committee is that as sure as night
follows day, we would find ourselves in a month or two with a debt
ceiling increase coming back … with no conditions whatsoever,” Cruz
On the other side, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Susan
Collins (R-Maine.) questioned that argument, noting that Democrats
couldn’t do anything in conference without the approval of the House —
which, McCain said, “happens to be a majority of our party.”
we don’t trust the majority party on the other side of the [Capitol] to
come to conference and not hold to the fiscal discipline that we want to
see happen? Isn’t that a little bit bizarre?” McCain said.
and Collins also argued that the stall tactics look ridiculous after
months of GOP complaints about the refusal by Senate Democrats to adopt
a budget. The first Senate budget in three years won approval 59 days ago, and Republicans have been dragging their feet every since.
“What are we on my side of the aisle doing?” demanded McCain. "We don't want a budget unless — unless — we put requirements on the
conferees that are absolutely out of line and unprecedented."
have called repeatedly for a return to regular order in this body,”
added Collins. “Well, regular order is going to conference.”
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said he
views the debt limit deadline as critical to forcing an agreement. But
that deadline has now been pushed to well after Labor Day.
recent conversations with reporters, Collins has called the stall
tactics “absurd;” McCain called them “insane” and “incomprehensible.”
Steve Benen adds this salient point:
Taking the other side was a familiar right-wing trio — Republican
Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee — which presented an argument
that was truly amazing, even for them.
Dave Weigel reported yesterday:
What Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Mike Lee want — and have wanted —
is a guarantee that a debt limit increase cannot be included in the
budget agreement that comes out of the House and Senate conference. It
only takes 51 votes to pass a budget. Cruz, on the floor, has asked the
Senate to preserve the "traditional 60-vote threshold" for raising the
This is a strange definition of "tradition."
It is, indeed. Between 1939 and 2010, the debt ceiling
was raised 89 times. How many of those increases were subjected to the
"60-vote threshold"? Zero. Even earlier this year, a debt-ceiling
increase was approved with 52 votes, not 60.
It's possible Cruz doesn't understand what "traditional" means, so let's make this clear: the word generally refers to
established or customary patterns of thought, action, or behavior. In
this case, the established, customary pattern is for the Senate to vote
up or down on debt-ceiling increases, often as part of the budget
conference committee process.
Sen. Ted "Calgary" Cruz apparently suffers from delusions of grandeur that he is King of Capitol Hill. Ted Cruz: ‘I Don’t Trust The Republicans’:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Wednesday defended his objection to initiating House-Senate budget negotiations unless Democrats take a debt limit increase off the table, saying he doesn't trust his party to hold the line.
"The senior senator from Arizona urged this body to trust the Republicans. Let me be clear, I don't trust the Republicans," Cruz said. "And I don't trust the Democrats."
Your Senate colleagues don't trust you either, senator. They think you're a dangerous demagogue. They are right.