Remember when Canter and McCarthy screwed up on the Farm Bill and Boehner had to pull it? It just happened again-- this time with the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development funding bills. The House of Representatives is now officially an out-of-control madhouse. Boehner is just another Member with an agenda, who some Republicans follow and others ignore. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), as far from a "moderate" as you'll find in their crazy caucus, issued the following statement concluding that the conservative sequestration scheme is wrecking the economy and ruining the country and must come to an end.
“The Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development funding bill that was pulled from floor consideration today was the first major attempt by the House to consider and pass an Appropriations bill that funds domestic programs under the austere level delineated under the Budget Control Act and the House budget resolution.This was a worse mess than the Farm Bill fiasco. The Republicans, as a party, are incapable and/or unwilling to fund anything other than the Military Industrial Establishment that the last plausible Republican President warned them about. They've followed Paul Ryan down a rabbit hole where there is no Social Security, no Medicare and no Medicaid and where everyone worships Ayn Rand. These people are not in the real world-- and they control, more or less, the House of Representatives... and half the state governments, not just in the crazy, secessionist South, but in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan. On the federal level, when the House Republicans try using Ryan's fantasy budget to draft actual budgets for actual functions of the government, they fall flat on their faces and... well impossible situations like what happened on Wednesday happen. It's pure nihilism in the real world and if it isn't stopped by the American people at the ballot box next November, or children and grandchildren will curse us to eternity-- and with good reason.
“The bill today reflected the best possible effort, under an open process, to fund programs important to the American people-- including our highway, air and rail systems, housing for our poorest families, and improvements to local communities-- while also making the deep cuts necessary under the current budget cap. In order to abide by sequestration budget levels, this bill cut $4.4 billion below the current, post-sequestration total to a level below what was approved for these programs in 2006-- over seven years ago.
“I am extremely disappointed with the decision to pull the bill from the House calendar today. The prospects for passing this bill in September are bleak at best, given the vote count on passage that was apparent this afternoon. With this action, the House has declined to proceed on the implementation of the very [Ryan] budget it adopted just three months ago. Thus, I believe that the House has made its choice: sequestration-- and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts-- must be brought to an end. And, it is also clear that the higher funding levels advocated by the Senate are also simply not achievable in this Congress.
“This Congress must now deal in a productive way to address the nation’s crippling deficits and debt to put our budget back on a sustainable and responsible path. This means that all government programs-- not just those on the discretionary side of the ledger-- must be reduced. Spending reductions in mandatory and entitlement programs, which are the drivers of our deficits and debt, are the most effective way to enact meaningful change in the trajectory of federal spending. The House, Senate and White House must come together as soon as possible on a comprehensive compromise that repeals sequestration, takes the nation off this lurching path from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis, reduces our deficits and debt, and provides a realistic topline discretionary spending level to fund the government in a responsible-- and attainable-- way.”
The House Republicans don't have the political will-- even without taking the House or Senate Democrats into account-- to pass any of this Ryan-ordained Randian garbage. There's no way to fund the rest of the government outside the military while keeping faith with Ryan's crackpot budgetary constraints. Even Hal Rogers understands that now. "Unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts must be brought to an end." He's talking about the whole insane edifice Ryan and his Wall Street pals have imposed on America through blackmail and threats. From the Associated Press report on the mess:
As the House measure faltered, a companion bill in the Senate seemed likely to be killed by a GOP filibuster on Thursday for the opposite reason. It breaks the budget limits of sequestration, the automatic cuts required by Washington's failure to strike a bipartisan budget deal.
The twin developments reflect the broader dysfunction in Washington over the budget. All sides want to reverse the crippling sequestration cuts but a partisan impasse over tax increases sought by President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies and cuts to so-called mandatory programs like Medicare and food stamps demanded by Republicans shows no signs of breaking.
Congress leaves Washington this week for a five-week vacation; the battle will be rejoined in the fall.
Cuts in the House transportation measure were made deeper by a Republican move to cut an additional $40 billion-plus from domestic programs and transfer the money to the Pentagon. That left the transportation measure $10 billion, or about 18 percent, below the Senate's bill.
...A spokesman for GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy of California said the Republican majority's top vote counter was confident he would have been able to round up enough votes to pass the bill if there were more time for debate.
The move comes as companion legislation in the Senate may be filibustered to death on Thursday by Republicans because it exceeds budget levels called for under the automatic budget cuts.
"Voting for appropriations legislation that blatantly violates budget reforms already agreed to by both parties moves our country in exactly, exactly the wrong direction," Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.
"The collapse of the partisan transportation and housing bill in the House proves that their sequestration-on-steroids bills are unworkable, and that we are going to need a bipartisan deal to replace sequestration," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chief author of the Senate bill. "And while we work toward that, we should pass the bipartisan Senate transportation and housing bill and show our constituents that we are putting them and their communities above partisanship and political games."