Basically, what’s going to happen is this: if the bill passes in the Senate then both the House and Senate will be under the gun to pass a budget in their respective chambers by April 15th. If the Senate does not – and let’s be honest; it’s the Senate that’s the problem – then the Senate doesn’t get paid until they do. The House Republican caucus was generally behind this bill (it’s linked to a three-month extension of the debt ceiling, which is the only reason why it might not have been); Senate Democrats are still kind of mumbling about it for the moment.
As to the vote itself… the House GOP forced enough Democrats to vote for it to allow for, simultaneously: the coveted ‘bipartisan’ label; AND to allow the hardline House Republican deficit hawks the luxury of voting their conscience on a ‘clean’ debt ceiling raise, no matter how high. The Democrats really, really wanted to make this a party-line vote, but when push came to shove they didn’t quite dare to try to force their marginal-district House Members into line. In other words: tactically speaking, the GOP won this one, fair and square. (more…)