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March 18, 2005

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and note this from the NY Times:

That vote was a rebuke to both the White House and the Republican leadership, and it threatens to prevent Congress from adopting a final budget this year.

"We have arguably our work cut out for us now," said Representative Jim Nussle, Republican of Iowa and chairman of the House Budget Committee. He characterized the Medicaid vote as a setback for Mr. Bush's domestic agenda, suggesting that "the momentum" of the entire package, including spending control, Social Security and tax code changes, was now at stake.

"If the Senate is not going to follow in the first item on the president's agenda," Mr. Nussle said, "then that is, I think, a signal that the president needs to receive and react to immediately."

This is the best news I've heard in quite some time. Seems some Republicans are taking the long view and deciding that they don't want the party to share a place in history with the Nazi Party.

Great blog, btw. I'm going to permalink to you from Sacred Begging.

(Remove underscores from e-mail address as given -- trying to thwart spambots.)

Very good news! For once, that is...

Read The Decembrist for a cogent analysis of these votes. There are several Republicans who voted against the PAYGO rules and for stripping the Medicaid cuts out of the budget. They are cowards who will not pay for the programs they support.

Then there is the Bunning measure, to add another $64 billion in tax cuts that will not be subject to a filibuster. They are supposedly earmarked "to repeal a 1993 tax increase on Social Security benefits claimed by relatively wealthy seniors," according to the WaPo, but the authority can be used for other things, like another fix in the AMT.

These budget measures, particularly the tax measures, are the most important items on the legislative calendar this year, and deserve much more attention. Once the Budget Bill is passed by both houses, the committees just come up with the taxes and spending to come within the caps they have been given. The Bunning Amendment assures that many of the Bush tax cuts will be made permanent this year, adding trillions to the cumulative debt in the years after Bush leaves office. There is literally not much money left to deal with.

And watch them try to put into the final Budget bill a shift from wage to price indexing for Social Security.

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