Morning Action: Conservative Lawmakers Resist Being Silenced
BUDGET. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will have another go at getting his colleagues in Congress on board with his budget plan, which would balance over ten years, but it may prove challenging:
Ryan will take center stage for the third year in a row to roll out a party platform that calls for overhauling entitlement programs, rewriting the tax code and dramatically reducing federal spending over the next decade.
He hopes to sell the budget to his colleagues and the public as responsible, but not overly austere.
While Ryan has said the budget will be similar to the ones he offered in 2011 and 2012, he is presenting his proposal at a much different political moment.
Buoyed by the reelection of President Obama, Democrats will argue that voters have already rejected both Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee in the 2012 race, and his ideas.
#TheSalmonRule. In an effort to stop the growth of government some conservative Republicans are calling on their colleagues to take united action to ensure that bills do not come to the floor for a vote unless it has the support of a majority of the majority, otherwise known as the Hastert Rule:
GOP Arizona Reps. Matt Salmon and David Schweikert implored fellow Republicans to vote no on party-backed procedural measures when leadership intends to pass bills that are opposed by most GOP legislators.
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) wrote an op-ed in the Washington Times in which he stated:
From this point forward, I will vote against the rule for bills that increase spending without offsetting spending cuts … if House leadership brings any more bills to the floor without first securing the support from the majority of the GOP conference, I will take the same action.
SEQUESTER. Michael Barone suggests that the President and his administration have been “flailing” since the sequester went into effect:
Suddenly, it became apparent that it was Obama’s poll numbers that were falling. Not to the level of congressional Republicans’ admittedly dreadful numbers. But enough that the Quinnipiac poll — whose 2012 numbers tilted a bit toward Democrats — showed him with only 45 percent approval and 46 percent disapproval.
Then the president who doesn’t like spending much time with even Democratic members of Congress suddenly invited 12 Republican senators to dinner at the Jefferson Hotel. He even paid out of his own pocket!
And on Thursday, he invited House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and ranking Democrat Chris Van Hollen to lunch at the White House.
Barone also says that the President has made some concessions:
He has already, the argument goes, agreed to using the chained CPI — an inflation measure that produces lower cost-of-living adjustments to entitlement and other programs.
For this, he’s taken some heat from Democrats. So Republicans should understand that he is dealing in good faith and should be willing to agree to increased revenues by removing tax preferences for high earners.
AMNESTY. Though there had been reports otherwise, “the three Republican senators working to craft immigration legislation in the gang of eight downplayed a report that they had reached an agreement on a pathway to legal status.”
Asked if the gang of right had reached agreement on the pathway, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) demurred: “We’re not going to agree on a pathway to citizenship until we get everything else agreed to. I’m not going to do a pathway to citizenship unless we get the language on border security and future flow — access to workers in the future to replace a family-based immigration system with a merit-based immigration system. But I think there’s a general consensus that a pathway to citizenship is obviously going to be part of the bill.”
Just to be clear, it is still amnesty.
OBAMACARE. There is nothing subtle about how ridiculous Obamacare is, and one lawmaker was able to make a statement about it. He had plenty of material to work with:
After printing off all 828 pages of new Obamacare regulations released yesterday, Sen. Mitch McConnell marveled at the bill after stacking it up in his office to show constituents how big of a mess it could be.