Liberal Senators Unserious Approach to Spending: All Talk, No Substance

Delay, do nothing and talk. When it comes to spending, that’s the strategy of Senate liberals.

It’s pure talk, no substance. Instead of taking real action on spending, they talk about what action the Senate could take. With coordinated media leaks, they seem to offer a proposal without really doing so.

If House Republicans negotiate with the Senate talkers, they’ll lose. They will lose because Democrats will then negotiate cuts down from the vague level that House Republicans responded to. The result would be lower cuts and none of the HR1 policy riders.

Why? Because the Republicans are at a structural disadvantage already, and the Democrat’s strategy would put them at a further negotiating disadvantage. Two rules of negotiations: 1) whoever says a number first loses; 2) whoever moves first loses. The Constitution requires spending bills to originate in the House, so Republicans had to move first, thus a structural disadvantage. The liberal talking strategy is an attempt to make Republicans move first as well.

The illusory compromise offered by Senate Democrats to the media is an attempt to weaken the House Republican negotiating position.

If Democrats were serious about negotiating, they would continue the normal process of legislating. They would pass a Senate alternative to HR 1 and then begin official hashing out of a final spending bill. Both sides would have an official starting point and a real compromise could be forged. This is what they would do if they were serious.

Senate Democrats haven’t even considered a serious spending measure. They want a “conversation,” conducted in and reported on by friendly media outlets. House Republicans should ignore this ruse for the negotiating tactic it is.

House Republicans should maintain HR1 as their position and wait for Senate Democrats to propose a serious alternative. House Republicans do have one thing in their favor: the April 8th deadline. If Senate Democrats continues to be completely obstinate, they and the liberal talkers will be responsible for shutting down the government.

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