Created by Rep Deb Eddy * 4 March 2012What just happened in the Senate? In the Senate, there are 27 Democrats and 22 Republicans. There are 5+ moderate Democrats who have been calling for actions that will * balance the budget responsibly, with the fewest “tricks”, and * begin to move the future cost- curve down, so that the 2013 legislature will not start its work with another billion dollar shortfall. On Friday night, on the 53rd day of the 60-day session, with no serious reforms yet passed, those Democrats took action to move the Republican budget to the floor. 27 22LEFT RIGHT
Why did they DO that? In the view of many observers, House Senate the House and Senate Democratic Democratic DEMOCRATIC budgets both tilt Budget Budget too far to the left, using accounting tricks and assumptions, a bit of political favoritism … at the expense of core priorities like education. While course corrections for future sustainability have been proposed, there’s been little to no movement on those measures. If the Senate adopted the proposed Democratic budget, then the starting point for negotiations is far to the left … and there’s no commitment to the reform actions needed! This is not sustainable … and it’s tilting in the wrong direction!
After Friday, the R budget is in play. Wearying of the waiting, and fearful that delay, Sens. Kastama, Tom and Sheldon joined with the Republicans on the Senate floor to bring the Senate Republican budget to a vote. sing a procedure known as the Ninth Order (no “trickery”, just parliamentary procedure), they by-passed the Democratic- controlled committee process and brought the question to the entire body. So, on Friday night, 25 senators voted to move the Republican budget forward. The other 24 senators, all Democrats, vehemently objected. 25 Aye Senate 24 Nay Republican BudgetLEFT RIGHT
So now what?Okay, now … here’s where itgets interesting. House SenateBased on Friday night’s action, Republican Democraticthe negotiation process should Budget Budgetnow begin between House W&MChair Ross Hunter and SenateW&M Chair Ed Murray ANDRanking Member Joe Zarelli.The beginning point ofnegotiation is now slightly RIGHTof center, as opposed to theslightly LEFT of center openercreated by using the House andSenate Democratic budgets.This is the most responsible wayto proceed.Okay, that’sbetter. Let’sget to work!
Usual Fix: “Buy” 2 Votes Back. But, of course, this is politics. So the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate, together with the Governor, will try to shift the balance of power back in their favor. Past practice has been to capture votes by promising either policy bills or budget “adds”. Given the ridicule that has been heaped on Sens. Kastama, Tom and Sheldon, it won’t be easy to recapture their vote, but Chopp and Brown will try. If that doesn’t work, then the next step will be to try to pick up a renegade Republican or two … And if that doesn’t work, then maybe we’ll get down to work and deliver a bipartisan budget. 24 25LEFT RIGHT
The Best Policy OutcomeOf course, the best policyoutcome would be for the (2) Agreeing on closure of somenegotiations to move to the tax exemptions to fund criticallymiddle, based on a House needed services that cannot beDEMOCRATIC budget and a sustained on existing revenue.Senate REPUBLICAN budget,leaving open the possibility of This would involve compromise, of course, collaboration by the(1) Passing some significant less-ideological among us. We’dfiscal reforms that begin to bend save some things thatthe future cost curve down, and Republicans don’t want to save,……. we’d reform some services that Democrats don’t want to reform 25 in the … but the result would be a better budget and a better future middle! for Washington. If this little slideshow helped you understand what’s going on, recommend it to a friend … Rep. Deb Eddy firstname.lastname@example.org Follow me on Twitter!LEFT RIGHT