Welcome to Budget Irony Week
It’s ironic to see Republicans speak so passionately about this year’s Ryan budget, even as they simultaneously vote to vitiate last year’s Ryan budget with the CR.
Every Republican in Washington will give lip service to the importance of balanced budgets and cutting spending as they vote to pass the House budget for FY 2014 this week. The RSC has introduced an even more aggressive budget. The budget would balance in just 4 years and trim spending to 18.5% of GDP. It would cut discretionary spending below FY 2008 levels, gradually raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security, and phase-in Medicare premium support more quickly than the Ryan budget. Moreover, it would not rely on the Obamacare and fiscal cliff tax hikes in order to achieve balance.
Many members will support this budget and hide behind a document that has no force of law in order to burnish their conservative credentials and stave off any attempted primary challenge next year. But we all understand that both budgets are meaningless if those who support them refuse to stand behind any of the principles laid out in the budget when it counts.
Ultimately, leaders in both parties will wind up funding government for the next fiscal year (beginning October 1.) with a CR or an omnibus bill that looks nothing like the Ryan budget. So while many Republicans will act like heroes voting for the Ryan budget, and possibly even the RSC budget, very few of them will commit to voting against the final CR or omnibus late this summer. That final budget bill will ultimately fund Obamacare and eschew every major reform set forth in the Ryan budget resolution.
How do we know this? Because that is exactly what Republicans in the House and Senate plan to do this week. Even as they begin thumping their chests on the new budget, they will be voting for the CR on last year’s budget – one that completely overrides everything that they claimed they’d fight for, including funding for Obamacare. The two votes completely contradict one another.
Can anyone draft Matt Salmon to run for the speakership?