These people are just not serious about governing responsibly. For them, everything is about producing propaganda grist for the mighty Wurlitzer of the right-wing noise machine.
Back in 2011 when the Tea-Publicans were holding the government hostage over a manufactured federal debt ceiling “fiscal cliff crisis” — something the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution requires Congress to increase to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its debts — the sequestration spending caps idea was born to resolve this manufactured “crisis.”
Spending cuts would apply to mandatory and discretionary spending in the years 2013 to 2021 and be in an amount equal to the difference between $1.2 trillion and the amount of deficit reduction enacted from the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. These spending caps would equally affect security and non-security programs. The automatic sequester provisions would go into effect in 2013 if Congress failed to produce a deficit reduction bill with at least $1.2 trillion in cuts.
At the time, everyone said Congress would never agree to the automatic sequestration caps, and yet, it became law, the Budget Control Act of 2011. Congress, of course, failed to do its job and we have been living under the automatic sequestration spending caps since 2013.
There have been repeated attempts to remove the sequestration spending caps on defense spending (while leaving the sequestration spending caps in place on domestic spending). Congress has agreed to several waivers of the spending caps over the years.
The GOP’s alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fanboy, Paul Ryan, the “zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” is siding with defense hawks and the radicals of the House GOP Freedom Caucus to bust the sequestration spending caps on defense spending while leaving the sequestration spending caps in place on domestic spending — a move Democrats oppose.
The point of this evil GOP bastard plan is to either roll weak-kneed Senate Democrats or to force them to vote against the House GOP spending plan and to shut down the government, so Tea-Publicans can beat their breasts and claim Democrats do not support our military and national defense. Or as President Trump trotted out yesterday, to assert they are “un-American” and to accuse them of “treason.”
The Hill reports, GOP to play hardball with Dems on funding bill:
House Republicans are moving to pair a full year of defense spending with a short-term measure to avoid a government shutdown on Friday, effectively daring Democrats in the Senate to block it.
Democrats have demanded that any increase in defense spending be matched with increases to nondefense spending. They also want to reach an immigration deal before they agree to a broader deal on lifting the budget spending caps.
But House GOP leadership’s decision puts Senate Democrats in an unenviable position.
Following last month’s government shutdown, House Republicans are betting that Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and his fellow Democrats in the Senate won’t have the nerve to force another closure by blocking the bill.
Senate Republicans need at least nine Democratic votes to beat back a Democratic-led filibuster.
Schumer declared the House GOP measure dead on arrival in a floor speech.
“Sending a cromnibus to the Senate, one that just funded defense and cut programs crucial to the middle class, would be barreling head-first into a dead-end,” Schumer said, referring to a cross between an omnibus spending bill and short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other GOP leaders will pitch the plan at an emergency GOP conference meeting Monday night, GOP sources told The Hill.
Rep. Steve Scalise (La.), the Republican whip, said the House will vote on the package on Tuesday.
“[We’ll] attach the [Defense Department] appropriations bill, as well as community health center funding, to the CR and send it over to the Senate tomorrow,” Scalise told The Hill. “We’ve passed a number of defense appropriations bills, and the Senate has yet to take action on any of them. So it’s about time that they confront the importance of funding our national defense.”
Scalise said the CR will not include language to raise the debt ceiling [which will be exceeded in March], which is being negotiated as part of the broader talks to lift spending caps. Some conservative lawmakers had recently been discussing the idea of attaching debt ceiling language to the next short-term funding bill, as long as it was paired with spending reforms.
In other words, the next manufactured “fiscal cliff crisis” in early March to hold the country hostage, once again. And you can bet that a DACA fix will not be part of the next short-term spending bill either, despite the fact that the trump-imposed deadline is March 5. Tea-Publicans govern by chaos theory, manufacturing crises and holding the country hostage to their ransom demands.
“That’s all being discussed in the context of the cap negotiations, which are separate,” Scalise said.
Pairing the defense funding with what’s expected to be a six-week continuing resolution would appease defense hawks and conservative hard-liners in the House GOP conference, allowing Ryan and his team to pass a government funding bill with Republican votes.
In addition to defense, the bill would include funding for community health centers as well as a package of expiring Medicare programs that need to be extended.
This is a “sweetener” to try to lure Senate Democrats into voting for the short-term spending bill.
The defense portion of the larger funding package would largely mirror a bill the House passed last week. That bill funded the Pentagon at higher levels — $659.2 billion for the entire 2018 fiscal year — but was ignored by the Senate.
It was approved on a 250-166 mostly party-line vote, with four Republicans voting “no” and 23 Democrats voting “yes.”
The House Freedom Caucus will support GOP leadership’s strategy to pair a full year of defense funding with a temporary spending patch for the rest of the government, the group announced Monday night. Freedom Caucus backs GOP plan to tie CR to defense spending.
Schumer accused Ryan of bowing to his right flank.
“Speaker Ryan needs to do what’s best for the country and work in a bipartisan way to fund the government, even if not every faction of his caucus will go along,” he said.
“If he lets the Freedom Caucus be the tail that wags the dog, there’s no way we’ll reach an agreement that can pass the Senate,” Schumer said. “And it would jeopardize the positive discussions going on right now about the budget, immigration, disaster aid and more.”
The radicals in the House GOP Freedom Caucus have a game plan to try to roll Senate Democrats, according to The Hill:
Some Republicans who emerged from the GOP conference meeting acknowledged that the Senate may end up stripping out the military funding from the CR. At least nine Democrats are needed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.
Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) predicted that a “majority” of his group would oppose the CR if it came back from the Senate without defense funding.
But Meadows also said his members discussed the idea of ping-ponging the measure back to the Senate after re-attaching military spending to the bill.
“I think there is a chance,” Meadows said of the Senate stripping out the defense funding, “but there’s an equal chance that we could send it back exactly the same way we did,” he told reporters.
The takeaway is that if Tea-Publicans cannot roll Senate Democrats, they will settle for a government shutdown so they can beat their breasts and claim Democrats do not support our military and national defense. Our authoritarian Twitter-troll-in-chief will up his McCarthyism rhetoric. Tea-Publicans will try to blame Democrats for any shutdown, but the true culprits are the radicals of the House GOP Freedom Caucus.
UPDATE: President Trump has taken ownership of any government shutdown as of today, his blame game of Democrats does not hold water. Trump Calls For ‘Shutdown’ If Dems Don’t Agree To His Immigration Proposal:
President Donald Trump on Tuesday afternoon said that he would back another federal government shutdown if Democrats in Congress don’t agree to immigration legislation that encompasses the White House’s demands.
“If we don’t change the legislation,” Trump said at a White House roundtable on the MS-13 gang. “Let’s have a shutdown. We’ll do a shutdown.”
“I’d love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this taken care of,” the President continued.
After calling for a shutdown, Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) told the President that Congress doesn’t “need a government shutdown over this,” touting a bill currently working its way through the House.
In response, Trump told Comstock, “We’re not getting support from the Democrats.”
Trump’s suggestion that the federal government shut down again this year came after he lambasted Democrats over the January shutdown. The President tried to blame Democrats for the shutdown, despite the fact that Republicans control the White House and both branches of Congress.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer quickly weighed in on Trump’s call for a shutdown Tuesday afternoon, telling reporters that nobody else wants the federal government to shut down.
“We had one Trump shutdown. Nobody wants another, maybe, except him,” Schumer said.