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Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:08 AM

The Republicans’ Moment of Truth

by Michael Tomasky Dec 28, 2012 11:00 PM EST

We’re going to learn a lot about the post-election GOP this weekend, says Michael Tomasky.

Barack Obama sounded reasonably confident Friday evening that a deal can still be reached. But it’s his job to sound optimistic, and not to anger Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. Happily, that’s not part of my portfolio, so I’m free to say that the question that still looms over the eleventh-hour fiscal cliff negotiations this weekend is a simple one: Will McConnell and Boehner allow votes on any last-minute deal? A more emphatic way of phrasing it is, will they finally put the country ahead of their party for a change, and ahead of their party’s unaltered view that any posture toward Obama other than belligerence equals capitulation to an enemy? That’s all that matters here. They both have the power to permit a deal, at least on taxes. The question is whether they’ll allow it. We’re going to learn a lot about the post-election Republican Party this weekend.

Let’s start with McConnell. Obama said Friday night that McConnell and Harry Reid were working on the details of deal that both could agree on. Well, that would be peachy, but count me skeptical, and a bit mystified as to what that deal would be. Would McConnell really be willing to raise taxes on dollars earned above, say, $400,000, the compromise figure mentioned lately? That’s a violation of the “principle” of no new taxes as surely as the $250,000 level is. I’m not sure why McConnell would suddenly be open to this. Maybe the prospect of having to face Ashley Judd in November 2014 worries him a little more than he’s letting on.

But even if he is, then we must ask about the other 46 Republicans. Matters can come to the Senate floor for a quick vote only under a “unanimous consent” rule, which means that every single senator needs to agree to allow it to do so. One senator can say no and end the whole process. Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and several others are obviously prime candidates to object to unanimous consent. McConnell could prevent such moves if he really wants to. So let’s see if he does.

More dramatically, of course, there’s the question of the filibuster. As I assume you know, any bill needs 60 Senate votes, not a simple majority of 51, to end debate and proceed to a final up-or-down vote. The Republicans, now numbering 47, could filibuster anything they wish. And in this particular case, there’s an extra wrinkle. Under Senate rules, debate on any matter starts to wind toward its end when a “cloture motion” is filed, a petition signed by 16 senators expressing the wish to end debate. From that moment, the rules call for 30 more hours of debate (read this if you’re interested in all this). As of Saturday morning, there are only 72 hours left in the year. But since senators need to sleep and eat and raise money, and since every hour is not a working hour, it’s possible that the year could end before the cloture clock runs out.



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Reply The Republicans’ Moment of Truth (Original post)
DonViejo Dec 2012 OP
Angry Dragon Dec 2012 #1
davidpdx Dec 2012 #3
ROBROX Dec 2012 #2

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:28 PM

1. there are no new taxes

under bush, tax rates were passed to be TEMPORARY ....................
that was passed by republicans

last year republicans agreed to the letting taxes go back to what they were and that programs and military would lose money
Why is it now not a good thing??
Did they make a mistake last year??
Are they idiots??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:02 AM

3. Which is so true

We should be asking them why they view a tax cut as an entitlement.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:36 PM



They as a group just walk lock step as required by their masters. These soulless creatures do not worry about those who elected them as they obey their masters will.

This country will suffer because there are people who do not care enough to support those who elected them but their masters who pay for them to be elected. The GOP requires lots of money to get their demons elected to screw up this country's budget and wellbeing.

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