This afternoon’s sprawling House budget debate is totally predictable, and this evening’s roll calls will be important only at the margins in explaining how fiscal policy might shift during the rest of the year.
Two super-liberal Democratic plans and one super-conservative GOP plan will be rejected overwhelmingly. So will a copy of the Senate plan, although how many House Democrats vote against it will offer a clue about where the party’s budgetary center of gravity is these days. And then the House will adopt the official GOP budget, the so-called Ryan plan, for achieve balance in a decade.
The suspense then will be how many on the majority side oppose it. The answer is probably fewer than the 10 who voted “no” on Ryan’s budget last year, but more than the four who opposed his first budget back in 2011. In other words, the House GOP looks very well organized for the debate ahead.
Still, the most important fiscal vote so far this year will come on one of the dozens of amendments that will be thrown at the budget plan to be considered in the Senate — a debate that Majority Leader Harry Reid signaled this morning will still happen before the spring recess is allowed to start, even if the current stall over the keep-the-government-running-for-six-months spending bill delays the budget resolution deliberations into the weekend.
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