No Budget as Pelosi Loses Control of Her Crazy Caucus
Whenever Republicans win control of one branch of Congress in an election, the media subjects everyone to an endless series of stories about how the GOP will have to “prove they’re ready to govern.”
They did the same thing when President Trump won in 2016. Now that Republicans would no longer be dealing with a hard-left socialist in the White House, they’d have to prove that they could govern.
It’s a good thing that standard is never applied to Democrats, because the House budget proposal under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership totally collapsed at the last second.
Failure to produce a budget is nothing new for Democrats when they’re in power. The US Senate under Harry Reid’s (D-NV) leadership famously went more than 1,400 days without producing a budget.
That’s more time than it took the Lewis & Clark expedition to travel across America and back, more time than it took to put a man on the moon after President Kennedy first proposed it, and more time than it took to build the Empire State Building from start to finish using 1930s technology.
That’s kind of bothersome when you consider that setting budgets is really the only important job that Congress has. Harry Reid’s Senate always skated by on “stopgap” budgets where they would piecemeal things together at the last minute.
Failing to produce a budget is, however, a new experience for Nancy Pelosi. During her previous run as House Speaker, her party had not gone completely crazy.
You have to wonder now if Pelosi would have even wanted her old job back, if she had known what a coalition of kooks her new party has turned into. Her job now resembles cat juggling more than running a political party. Not that anyone should feel sorry for her.
The proposal that Pelosi failed to pass would have blown up the budget caps that Congress has already voted to put in place. Pelosi wants to spend your tax dollars like never before – but that wasn’t good enough for the House Progressive Caucus.
The progressive socialists in that caucus, led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), wanted even more money for entitlement programs. They demanded an additional $33 billion to pay for things like health care for illegal aliens and even bigger kickbacks to labor unions.
From the other side, Pelosi was attacked by the so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats. They’re the party moderates that you never see on TV.
If you did, they’d be saying things like, “Can we please stop being crazy in front of the voters? We’re going to get clobbered in 2020 if we don’t shut Ocasio-Cortez up!” The crazy idea from the Blue Dogs was that they should stick to the budget caps and follow the law as it’s written. Nuts, right?
The Blue Dogs also have a somewhat legitimate complaint. Republicans in the Senate want to blow up the budget caps to increase defense spending by $88 billion per year in 2019 and 2020.
The Blue Dogs argued that they have no room to complain about Republicans increasing defense spending if they can’t rein in their own domestic spending wish list.
When it came time to vote on the Democrats’ opening proposal, the Progressive Caucus and the Blue Dogs abandoned Pelosi. She didn’t get or deserve any help from Republicans, either. It was an embarrassing failure Pelosi as she was only 96 days into her new gig as Speaker of the House.
Compounding the embarrassment was the fact that the bill wasn’t even a proper budget proposal. It was a “messaging” proposal, which is part of the games that the House and Senate play when they’re run by opposing parties.
The House will float its proposal, the Senate will offer an alternative proposal, and when they get sort-of close, both sides will pass their budget bills and then it goes to conference. Pelosi’s Democrats can’t even agree on a message about the budget.
They can’t agree whether they should spend a little bit too much, way too much or only the amount allowed under the law.
The only thing they do agree on is the fact that they don’t want to reduce spending in any way. This is uncharted territory, because spending bills must originate in the House.
If Pelosi can’t cobble something together before September, we’ll be headed for another government shutdown. And she won’t be able to blame Donald Trump for this one.