For the first time in more than 30 years, House Democrats are considering not making a budget resolution. They’ve decided to give up completely on governing despite having an overwhelming majority.
Why should we care about this non-binding budget resolution? Because you need a budget resolution to use reconciliation, which remains the main option to pass progressive legislation against Senate Republican and conservative Democratic obstructionism. From Politico:
“We can show that we can govern at the same time that we have a different form of budget resolution,” Spratt said. “I think we say to the American people, ‘Look at the substance rather than the form.’”
Spratt says he’s still leading the charge to write a “traditional” budget resolution. House leaders haven’t yet pulled the plug on the process, but there’s little appetite for a floor fight among the Democratic rank and file. And neither Spratt nor his party’s leaders have found a way to please conservative Blue Dogs who want to cut domestic spending and progressives who don’t.
This is just pathetic. It’s the ridiculous hope that simply by ignoring problems, they will magically go away.
House Democrats might as well let the Senate act alone. Without reconciliation instructions, every bill that passes from now on will be what the Senate says it must be. It gives complete veto power to the 41 Republican senators and conservative Democrats like Joe Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln.
The Democrats are playing right into the Republicans’ game plan. Republicans hope to beat Democrats by making them look incompetent and incapable of governing. They have done this by adopting a strategy of endless obstructionism that has shut down legislating and prevented Democrats from passing laws. It has worked beautifully to undermine public trust in elected Democrats.
Instead of using the best tool at their disposal, reconciliation, to overcome Republican/ConservaDem anti-democratic and anti-Constitutional filibusters, House Democrats have instead chosen to hide in the corner like scared children.
Regular Americans are hurting. Reconciliation is a tool that Democrats could use to help millions in many ways. The Local Jobs For Americans Act could easily be passed using reconciliation. So could a measure that would reduce drug prices for seniors while reducing the deficit. Reconciliation could also be used to lose the unfair tax loopholes for Wall Street hedge fund managers and shift the money to fund health insurance, prevent massive teacher layoffs, renovate old schools to create new jobs, and more.
Instead, House Democrats are planning to unilaterally disarm. The Republican goal was to make the American people turn against the Democrats by stopping the Majority from providing effective government solutions in face of a crisis. The Democratic response has been to back down and give up. Republicans no longer need to prove that Democrats are incapable of governing. The Democrats are doing that job for them.
I strongly urge House Democrats to reconsider. Use reconciliation and push through the changes you promised Americans. Show them why you deserve to return to office in November.