Posted by | April 15, 2011 17:36 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Alan blogged earlier about how the budget resolution passed by the House will be an attractive target in the 2012 campaign.  But Minority Whip Steny Hoyer almost tricked the Republicans into passing a budget advocated by the very conservative Republican Study Committee.

The RSC is a very large bloc of conservative Republican House members. They introduced a 10-year plan for America that makes the already far-reaching House budget look fairly moderate. It was supposed to be a symbolic vote — one that allowed conservative members to go on the record in support of slashing $9 trillion in spending knowing full well it would never be adopted as the official

Hoyer decided to have the Democrats vote “present” meaning that only Republican votes would count and the RSC budget had a chance of passing since a majority of Republicans had come out on record in favor of it.  In the end, Republicans panicked at the prospect of passing a balanced budget:

With almost all Democrats voting present, Republicans realized they were about to accidentally pass a plan that was too politically radioactive even to them. So they pressed several of their own members — including Reps. David Dreier (R-CA), Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Buck McKeon (R-CA), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) — to switch their votes from yes to no. Indeed, when they realized what the Dems were up to, Republicans managed to flip just as many votes as they’d need to kill the RSC plan, even if every Democrat voted “present.” Only 15 Democrats declined to switch their votes from “no” to “present.” The plan failed by 16 votes.

Republicans know that a large majority of Americans are against such a conservative plan.  Hopefully, their base saw today that they are too.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.