We've known for a while now that House Republican claims of fiscal seriousness is crap. In particular, they've announced that any deficits that accrue from their planned tax cuts don't need to be offset. Deficits from tax cuts don't count; only those from spending do. It's Teabagger Econ 101. If anyone can bend that one around the idea of budgetary seriousness, please show me how.
GOP RULES EXEMPT COSTS OF REPEALING HEALTH CARE - House Republican rules for the 112th Congress exempt all sorts of tax cuts from any requirement that their deficit impact be offset -- including one they jarringly refer to as the "estate tax" (the wha??) -- but they specifically "exempt the budgetary effects of legislation repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010."
Wonder what the difference is. Are tax-cut deficits made of something different from spending ones? Smoke? Cotton candy? Congressional Republicans assume their supporters are idiots. Will they ever be proved wrong? This is me, not holding my breath.
Were I to try to document each and every instance of Rs doing exactly the opposite of what they promised, I'd have no time for anything else; they've barely taken over the House, and the list is endless. (Remember when they claimed bills were shoved down their throats without the ability to offer amendments? Never happened.)
This week, House Republicans will resurrect an arcane tool that will give its Budget Chairman temporary, but unilateral authority to set federal spending levels for part of this year.
Welcome back to the so-called "Demon Pass", which is scheduled to make its return to the Capitol Hill on January 5.
Because Democrats didn't pass a budget, and because spending authority expires in early March, there's a strong chance that the government will run out of money before the House and Senate agree to new spending levels. When that happens, under the new House rules, spending will continue -- but at levels no higher than those chosen by the House Budget Committee chairman, Paul Ryan.
As soon as those rules are adopted on Wednesday, Ryan's spending levels will be considered -- or "deemed" -- adopted by the full House as if they'd passed a budget with a floor vote. The legislative language in the rules package holds that Ryan's spending limits, "shall be considered as contained in a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2011 and the submission thereof into the Congressional Record shall be considered as the completion of congressional action on a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2011."...
...This quickly became known as "Demon Pass," or the "Slaughter Solution," named after House Rules Chair Louise Slaughter....
...Republicans rebelled, and conservatives went off the deep end. Radio talk show host Mark Levin called it "100 times worse than Watergate."
Democrats eventually bowed to that pressure and decide not to use the process -- known technically as "deeming," or a "self-executing."
In reality, deeming is used fairly frequently by both parties, but not typically on such high-profile issues. Democrats used it in lieu of passing a budget resolution last year -- a move the GOP similarly opposed.