Who needs Democrats when so many Republicans are willing to orchestrate their agenda for them?
The Senate is on the precipice of passing Barbara Boxer’s highway bill with overwhelming support. Mitch McConnell is negotiating a deal with Harry Reid in which Republicans would be granted a vote on some of their choice non-germane amendments. After Democrats summarily defeat those amendments, Republicans will return the favor by voting for the underlying bill, which overspends its revenue source by 43% and raises taxes to bridge the gap.
The sad thing is that S. 1813 is not just Boxer’s highway bill. It was supported by every Republican on the committee level, and only 9 Republicans voted against cloture to proceed with the bill on the floor. In a sane world, McConnell would be negotiating proposals to cut mass transit and eliminate the 10% beautification mandates on the states instead of securing failed votes on non-germane amendments. Then again, most Republicans in the Senate actually support the idea of federally funded transportation. They also buy into Obama’s puerile logic that it will create new jobs, instead of spreading around existing ones.
Consequently, not only will Senate Republicans decline to block the Obama/Boxer stimulus, they will lock hands with Democrats, pass the Senate bill, and jam House conservatives. For his part, John Boehner is using the Senate bill against conservatives, instead of joining with conservatives, to fight this terrible bill.