GOP Lawmakers See Different Opportunities In Budget Reconciliation
Republican House and Senate leaders will have to settle on a list of key priorities for this fast-track budget procedure to avoid a partisan free-for-all. Meanwhile, now that the bipartisan measure to address Medicare's physician payment formula has cleared both chambers, bickering is coming back.
GOP Free-For-All Over Reconciliation
Maine Sen. Susan Collins wants to use it for a tax overhaul. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, for entitlement reform and a massive “pro-growth” agenda. And Rep. Bill Flores of Texas, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee, insists it should be used only to gut President Barack Obama’s signature health law. The fast-track reconciliation process — a rare budget procedure that would allow Republicans to jam sweeping legislation through the Senate with a simple majority — is quickly turning into a free-for-all. Dozens of members have different ideas for how to take advantage of the powerful tool, but the two chambers’ leaders will have to settle on a single set of priorities if they want to deploy it. (Bade and Sherman, 4/16)
After Bipartisan Bonanza, Senate Goes Back To Bickering
A day after a Senate committee unanimously approve an Iran review bill, party leaders were back to bickering: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of aiding doctors and shunning sex trafficking victims. Minority Leader Harry Reid shot back that his counterpart’s complaints were “illogical” and devoid of facts. (Everett, 4/15)