Malacandra.me

What is this “conference” you speak of?

What is this "conference" you speak of?

by digby

You have to hand it to them, they know that the American people know nothing of conference bills and "regular order."  They figure they can ride this out with no problem:

House Republicans spent most of their time over the last three years reminding Americans that Senate Democrats hadn’t passed a budget in two, then three, then four years. It was a regular Republican talking point, a particular favorite of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s. But now that the Senate has returned to regular order by passing a budget, House Republicans are refusing to come to the table to negotiate a long-term spending plan.

Republicans passed their own budget, the plan Ryan authored, in March, and since the proposal differs from the Senate budget, regular order requires the two chambers to come together in conference to iron out their differences in a compromise budget that is then taken back to the full memberships of each house. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has hinted at forming such a conference for more than a week, but Republicans have shown no willingness to join him. This morning, Senate Republicans blocked Reid from creating a conference committee, a move that led Reid to accuse them of turning “a complete 180″


Reid trash talked the GOP leadership as being the Tea Party's love slaves, but the truth is that the Democrats' plan to pass a Senate bill and then go to conference and emerge with the president's pre-digested compromise was always a bit too clever by half. But in the end, they may just wind up with their greatest wish fulfilled: having the beltway elites declare them the only grown-ups in the room. Whether the American people give a damn about that remains to be seen. I'm going to guess they aren't quite as interested in the winners and losers in games concerning arcane congressional procedure as the Washington Post editorial board, but you never know.