Reid pushing away from normal order?

posted at 10:01 am on February 12, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The sequester will hit at the first of March, which means that any attempt to defuse this rather weak set of budget cuts has to take place in the next two weeks. If that sounds familiar, it should; it’s basically the same kind of set-up we’ve seen through endless games of fiscal chicken.  But what happens when only one person shows up to play that game?  Politico reports that Harry Reid’s strategy is now to “corral” John Boehner back into White House bargaining rather than normal order budgeting.  Oddly, though, they never really note the issue of normal order, even though Boehner has made it clear where he stands:

Washington’s latest budget rumpus is perhaps best understood as a Western in which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plays a Nevada buckaroo ranch foreman charged with driving the House Republicans back to the Oval Office corral for deficit talks with President Barack Obama.

Speaker John Boehner bolted before Christmas and is now threatening to let across-the-board spending cuts go into effect March 1. Reid must cut Boehner off at the pass and steer him back to the president, who left $600 billion in entitlement savings on the table in December.

Boehner bolted because his caucus revolted.  They got tired of Boehner getting hammered in backroom negotiations on budgets while the Senate refused to pass one of their own.  After having failed yet again to get Obama to budge on budget cuts, Boehner pledged that he would stop engaging in such extraordinary personal negotiations and insist on normal order — where both chambers draft bills, and then negotiations start between them with a conference committee.  That puts House Republicans on the same level as Senate Democrats, and forces Obama to work through Reid rather than act as a third party in the legislating process.

And that’s paying some dividends, emphasis mine:

There’s a bit of serendipity to this script: Reid’s camp says he only fell into his role. But it is timely with Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, and it helps explain the bill being drafted by the Senate Democrats to forestall the March cuts with a mix of new revenues and savings.

Final details have not been released, but the goal is to come up with enough deficit reduction to secure a seven-to-10-month window in which a larger deal with the White House — including entitlement savings and at least corporate tax reform — could be implemented.

Amusingly, the Politico story never once mentions “normal order” or the pledge Boehner made to adhere to it, even though it seems to be working well enough to get the Senate to produce legislation rather than insist on a backroom-deal first.  Reid may still want to get back to the emergency model where he and Obama can attempt to overwhelm Boehner, but so far Boehner isn’t playing.  And when one person plays chicken all alone, it doesn’t make for very good results, especially on the brink of self-created cliffs.


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Harry playing chicken by himself makes me laugh. Not sure precisely as to why however.

Bmore on February 12, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Harry “Searchlight Stalker” Reid has broken the law for four years now.

The American people rewarded him with more power.

harlekwin15 on February 12, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Stand strong boehner

No caving please

cmsinaz on February 12, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Reid pushing away from normal order?

“Reid” and “normal” never belong in the same sentence.

Bitter Clinger on February 12, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Harry “The Search Light Strangler” Reid is choking the chicken?

Well, that sounds about right.

LoganSix on February 12, 2013 at 10:10 AM

So we can say Harry is left by himself… choked on his chicken

dforston on February 12, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Damn it… beat me to it

dforston on February 12, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Here is hoping Boehner tells Reid to f**k off again!

pilamaye on February 12, 2013 at 10:11 AM

I would not engage in any “backroom deals” with a gay marriage supporter. It may affect one’s “back room”.

Archivarix on February 12, 2013 at 10:13 AM

And when one person plays chicken all alone, it doesn’t make for very good results, especially on the brink of self-created cliffs.

Speak for yourself! If Reid decides to fly off the cliff alone in his dads 78 firebird who are we to stop him?!

Gatsu on February 12, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Do we have any indication of how many Republicans are ok with the sequester going through? I know some like McCain have publicly come out against it, but with 2 1/2 weeks to go, it would be nice to know that the GOP is prepared to actually let it go into effect.

Doughboy on February 12, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Just my opinion but dollars to donuts I’m right. Boehner is biding his time and thinking up excuses for when he caves…..cue the tears!!

MONACO1121 on February 12, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Hold the line John Boehner and these empty suits will fold!

cicerone on February 12, 2013 at 10:26 AM

I know some like McCain have publicly come out against it, but with 2 1/2 weeks to go, it would be nice to know that the GOP is prepared to actually let it go into effect.

Doughboy on February 12, 2013 at 10:16 AM

I think the GOP would be stupid to agree to a seven to ten month window for more negotiations. Look, the rat-eared wonder proposed sequestration back in 2011 with the idea that he’d have a window where substantive negotiation could occur with Congress. Sequestration passed, Obama assumed that he could play chicken with the GOP, and completely ignored the issue until last week. Even during the debates in October he catagorically stated that sequestration was not going to happen.

The defense cuts are unwise. Not that the defense budget shouldn’t face cuts but they should be more deliberate instead of grounding planes and ships for lack of money to pay for flight and steaming hours or deferring maintenance schedules. It rests with Harry Reid and the rat-eared wonder if they are willing to find cuts elsewhere in entitlement programs to stop sequestration. The fact of the matter is that they got their tax increases last month so the House GOP would be crazy to agree to yet another tax increase now.

And with less than three weeks to go through normal order, sequestration is going to happen.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Boehner pledged that he would stop engaging in such extraordinary personal negotiations and insist on normal order …

A “pledge” from Ayatollah Boehner is meaningless.

HondaV65 on February 12, 2013 at 10:27 AM

I just gotta say I saw a lady buying some stuff yesterday she shouldn’t with her EBT Card and I’m just shaking my head (to myself). I see it all the time so I know what is going on. This is a horribly abused privilege.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. We need to instill a pride in working, not working the system.

tomas on February 12, 2013 at 10:28 AM

And with less than three weeks to go through normal order, sequestration is going to happen.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Let’s hope so. I don’t want the cuts to defense, but this may be the only way for the GOP to get any real immediate spending reductions aside from forcing a government shutdown.

Doughboy on February 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM

MONACO1121 on February 12, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Yep, and we’ll get Hagel too. Come to think of it maybe even Charlie Sheen as Drug Czar.

Limerick on February 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Do we have any indication of how many Republicans are ok with the sequester going through? I know some like McCain have publicly come out against it, but with 2 1/2 weeks to go, it would be nice to know that the GOP is prepared to actually let it go into effect.

Doughboy on February 12, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Well, there’s your problem right there. It seems you have mistaken a small pachyderm with a case of testicular abatement for an elephant.

LoganSix on February 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Harry playing chicken by himself makes me laugh. Not sure precisely as to why however.

Bmore on February 12, 2013 at 10:04 AM

He’s been essentially choking his chicken in the Senate for years. I’d expect nothing less from this turd.

Polish Rifle on February 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Speak for yourself! If Reid decides to fly off the cliff alone in his dads 78 firebird who are we to stop him?!

Gatsu on February 12, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Stop him? Far from it. First round is on me if that happens!

IMO, this is chickens coming home to roost. The Dems and rat-eared wonder have been so dishonest in the mano-y-mano negotiations that they have no credibility left with the House GOP. Even if Boehner wanted to go into private session with the Dems his party would revolt. Harry Reid faces a similar problem. There are very few places to find discretionary spending (the largest being attached to Obamacare). How to find alternatives to sequestration without ticking off the parasites of entitlement programs or the Democrats that rely on their votes?

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Let’s hope so. I don’t want the cuts to defense, but this may be the only way for the GOP to get any real immediate spending reductions aside from forcing a government shutdown.

Doughboy on February 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Actually, that is the next deadline. March 27th is when the FY13 continuing resolutions (since the Senate has ignored the law for years requiring a budget) run out. Congress will have to authorize more spending or shut the government down. The House GOP should use this fact as leverage and refuse to authorize further expenditures without a Presidential budget submission and passed legislation from the Senate so that FY14 has a real budget.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Reid pushing away from normal order?

Who is this Idiot, and why is his picture on this thread??

Oh that’s right, he’s the guy who is the SENATE MAJORITY LEADER.

Cowboy Poetry….Priorities people….

ToddPA on February 12, 2013 at 10:38 AM

The House should pass the spending bills and send them to the Senate. Then the Senate can modify and then a conference committee.

The first step is still with the House.

osborn4 on February 12, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Actually, that is the next deadline. March 27th is when the FY13 continuing resolutions (since the Senate has ignored the law for years requiring a budget) run out. Congress will have to authorize more spending or shut the government down. The House GOP should use this fact as leverage and refuse to authorize further expenditures without a Presidential budget submission and passed legislation from the Senate so that FY14 has a real budget.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Yeah, they’ve claimed they’re tying in any future extension of the debt ceiling to the Dems offering up an actual budget. So all these deadlines(sequester, debt ceiling, continuing resolution) are coinciding in the springtime. It’s put up or shut up time for the GOP. Either they get real spending reductions from the Dems or they confirm once and for all that they’re in no way serious about reform(in which case expect 2014 to be a wipeout).

Doughboy on February 12, 2013 at 10:42 AM

tomas on February 12, 2013 at 10:28 AM

It’s only gonna get worse. Based on new ObummerCare rules a worker who qualifies for no subsidies (9.5% of his income or less) on his employer’s individual plan gets no subsidies for a family plan. So a guy making $40,000 pays $1,000 for his employer’s individual plan (employer pays the balance) but the family plan would cost the worker an additional $15,000. However he and his family get no help from the government because he could afford the individual plan.

So here’s the worker’s dilemma: Continue working and not cover any of his family members (3 more people without health ins. thanks to Owebama); work and pay $16,000 (40% of his before tax salary)for health ins. for himself and his family or don’t work and get $20,000 of free health care plus food stamps, welfare and what other govt freebies he qualifies for.

Another job destroying benefit of ObummerCare brought to you by Owebama.

Now what do you think this person will do?

katablog.com on February 12, 2013 at 10:43 AM

LOL. Who here really believes that Boehner and company won’t cave?

HiJack on February 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Whatever.

Mr. Arrogant on February 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Msdnc is outraged that boehner said that dear leader didn’t have the guts to make the tough decision

Lol

cmsinaz on February 12, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Who here really believes that Boehner and company won’t cave?

HiJack on February 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM

I believe. There really isn’t any up side to caving for the GOP. The devil is in the details, of course, but the era of Senator J Wellington Wimpy and the GOP believing that he’ll truly will gladly pay for that hamburger on Tuesday is over. Taxes were raised last month so the balanced approach that the left keeps talking about boils down to cutting from discretionary spending or entitlement programs. That is going to hack off some of the parasites that put Obama back in office so they are seeking to wriggle out of cutting anything until the start of the mid-term election season where cuts are virtually impossible.

It is put up or shut up time for the Dems and rat-eared wonder. The GOP has nothing to lose by letting sequestration happen.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Msdnc is outraged that boehner said that dear leader didn’t have the guts to make the tough decision

Lol

cmsinaz on February 12, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Yeah, well the truth hurts sometimes. Sununu was right when he called the rat-eared wonder lazy. Not making tough decisions is part of that same mentality. If you make a tough decision you are going to tick off some people, have to defend your decision in response to critics, and deal with the consequences. If all you do is golf and throw free contraception at those concerned about their lady parts then you can play the hero.

Fact of the matter is that Obama is not ready to make the hard decision when it comes to averting sequestration. Less than three weeks to go in a deadline that has been looming since 2011 and all he has done is whine that the GOP hasn’t approached him and his filthy party with a deal. Obama owns sequestration and it is going to leave a mark.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Washington’s latest budget rumpus is perhaps best understood as a Western in which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plays a Nevada buckaroo ranch foreman charged with driving the House Republicans back to the Oval Office corral for deficit talks with President Barack Obama…

That’s some good writin’ right there!

Mr. Arkadin on February 12, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Polish Rifle on February 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Admittedly, I was thinking of that other chicken saying. Yours works as well though. ; )

Bmore on February 12, 2013 at 11:11 AM

It is put up or shut up time for the Dems and rat-eared wonder. The GOP has nothing to lose by letting sequestration happen.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2013 at 10:53 AM

You may be right about that. Even some of the Senate Democrats were complaining that defense cuts would cause job losses in their states, so some of them might be willing to go along with Senate Republicans in working through a deal that includes entitlement cuts and less defense cuts. But it’s definitely time for the GOP to stand firm, and be willing to shut down the government if serious spending cuts are not made.

Steve Z on February 12, 2013 at 11:20 AM

0bama does own sequestration… he set it up.

But for one second do you believe that the lsm is gonna report that it was his stoopid idea, or keep pushing the meme that i’ts the repubs fault?

Yeah, well we all know the answer to that one.

The horse is out of the barn, too dang late to shut the door now!

For petes sake someone in the party, get all over 0 for this!

Quit taking it in the rear!

Some days I just don’t wanna get up or listen to the news.

Shut it down or L.i.B!

*phutooey*

Scrumpy on February 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Even conservatives talk as though sequestration is ‘spending cuts’. It is not; it would only mean we’re increasing spending at a slightly slower rate. Insanity. Baseline budgeting is evil, pure and simple. The sequestration may distribute where the spending goes poorly, but it’s the best conservatives can hope for ar this point.

Fenris on February 12, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Even conservatives talk as though sequestration is ‘spending cuts’. It is not; it would only mean we’re increasing spending at a slightly slower rate.

Fenris on February 12, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Yes, but we want at least something in the right direction, not nothing. Backing down will end up with nothing.

LoganSix on February 12, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Reminds me of the time William Shatner played the bonus round on The $10,000 Dollar Pyramid by himself. And lost.

Mitoch55 on February 12, 2013 at 12:03 PM

The first step is still with the House.

osborn4 on February 12, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I believe they’ve already passed and submitted 2 separate budgets to the Senate. The House does not need to act further. Next step is with the Senate…

dominigan on February 12, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Even conservatives talk as though sequestration is ‘spending cuts’. It is not; it would only mean we’re increasing spending at a slightly slower rate.

Fenris on February 12, 2013 at 11:50 AM

True but unless you feel that we should be spending more, as Democrats do, this begins to do something about the deficit that does not include immediate revenue “enhancement” on the productive so that the worthless parasites that support Obama don’t have to worry about finding that job or cutting back because they are getting less through a protected entitlement program.

Face it, spending is out of control and a tax on future generations that they do not deserve. I would like to have seen a more reasonable approach, perhaps adopting large parts of Simpson-Boles for example. But if this is the way the filthy rat-eared bastard wants to play it, then we cut defense to the point we are vulnerable, take money out of Medicare, and slow the growth of government spending. Once the morons now called low information Americans figure out that sequestration isn’t an event involving horses, there will be a push for a more legitimate approach. Until then, God have mercy on us should Iran or North Korea decide to do something that would require national action.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM

I believe they’ve already passed and submitted 2 separate budgets to the Senate. The House does not need to act further. Next step is with the Senate…

dominigan on February 12, 2013 at 12:04 PM

I’m pretty sure those budgets were submitted last year and would have died with the 112th Congress. That being said, the first step for next years budget is the President’s budget submission. It’s a wish list. The submission was supposed to happen by February 4th by law but in typical fashion the administration just said they’d get around to it sometime in March.

By April 15th both houses of Congress are supposed to have passed budgets and be ready for the process of hammering out the details in committee. What do you suppose the odds are that the Senate is going to bother with even trying this year after four years of essentially telling the nation to go eff themselves?

That is why I think that anything short of substantive progress by March 27th should result in the House GOP shutting down government by not passing further continuing resolutions to authorize spending. No budget no spending authority. It is a concept that even greedy stupid parasites can understand with a little bit of coaching.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2013 at 12:17 PM

time for reid to look the other way while his foriegn “relations” committe chair takes another private jet to the DR and bangs some pre-teen boys while he watches.

acyl72 on February 12, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Harry Reid is and always has been a thoroughly corrupt politician. Every single piece of property he owns, every “investment” he’s made, even every job his children ever got was a political payoff. PERIOD. At this point, if the old crook were to spend the rest of his life in prison, he would die owing us about 300 more years.

Why do you continue to link the propaganda site “Politico” despite the abundant evidence they are merely Democratic functionaries? Maybe David Brock considers them reliable as a news site, but why do you?

Adjoran on February 12, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Reid may still want to get back to the emergency model where he and Obama can attempt to overwhelm Boehner

That emphasizes that Democrats control 2/3 of budget-making entities: The Senate and the Presidency.

Compare and Contrast:

From January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2007, Republicans controlled a majority (holding 2+ of the House, Senate, and Presidency) and passed budgets for FY 1996 – FY 2007. Those Republican majorities increased the Total National Debt by $4 Trillion over 12 Fiscal Years (FY 1996 – FY 2007).

A Republican-majority average of $336 Billion new debt per year.

From January 3, 2007 – present, Democrats have controlled a majority (holding 2+ of the House, Senate, and Presidency) and been primarily responsible for spending and deficits, even though they only passed 2 budgets (FY 2008 & FY 2009) and have used “continuing resolutions” for the rest. Those Democrat majorities increased the Total National Debt by $7.5 Trillion in less than 5.5 Fiscal Years (FY 2008 – present).

A Democrat-majority average of $1.4 Trillion new debt per year.

ITguy on February 12, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Even conservatives talk as though sequestration is ‘spending cuts’. It is not; it would only mean we’re increasing spending at a slightly slower rate. Insanity. Baseline budgeting is evil, pure and simple. The sequestration may distribute where the spending goes poorly, but it’s the best conservatives can hope for ar this point.

Fenris on February 12, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Amen. Any deal reached on sequestration, the budget, the debt ceiling, etc. should be predicated on eliminating, as a matter of law, baseline budgeting. Make Congress start from scratch each year, even on “mandatory” spending, and write a new budget. No automatic increases and no CBO scoring based on those assumed increases.

Of course, Republicans in Congress will never go for that because, in truth, they want their spending just as much as Democrats do. Just at a slightly different rate and on slightly different priorities.

Shump on February 12, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Boehner, along with the rest of the GOP Insiders is in enough trouble today. He doesn’t need to sink any further.

MIGOP Convention in 2 weeks! What will you be doing when I’m busy working to kick out the irrelevent Romney supporters Moderate politicians there AGAIN?

DannoJyd on February 12, 2013 at 5:59 PM

the bill being drafted by the Senate….with a mix of new revenues

PPACA was twice over unconstitutional just via legislative action. Can you spot a similar aspect in the quote?

John Kettlewell on February 12, 2013 at 9:44 PM