Home > Uncategorized > 2013/10/15: Commentary: Corker points to more collegial approach

2013/10/15: Commentary: Corker points to more collegial approach

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COMMENTARY: Tuesday, October 15, 2013.

CNBC-CORKERsaysSENbillPASSlikely-131014earlyMore collegial?

…well we certainly hope so!

The current negotiations in Washington DC may actually be returning to sanity. That is after the insanity visited on the American people by the ideologues on both sides. As Senator Corker (R-TN) (one of the few successful businessmen in Congress) points out, the Republican overreach on attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) has now yielded to a more reasonable focus on actual budget and spending issues. While there are still a couple of issues there that may be a bit of a rub, the basic desire on the part of cooler heads in the Republican Party to find a compromise is very apparent.

And the Democrats have also abandoned their attempt to take extreme advantage of the situation due to the predictable weakness (the senior Republicans warned Ted Cruz and others their repeal Obamacare effort you backfire) of the Republicans. As we noted in yesterday’s Commentary The Howie Mandel administration? post, the Democrats also attempted legislating on the fly by abandoning a previously reasonably restrained budget proposal from just prior to the October 1st shutdown… and attempted to bust the spending limits in the Budget Control Act (i.e. ‘sequester’ legislation.)

The reasons for that are explored at length in yesterday’s post, so no need to revisit it all here. More important is the degree to this respective party leaders in the Senate have crafted (all would hope) a mutually acceptable compromise. Under the Reid (D-NV) McConnell (R-KY) bill US government funding would be extended through January, and the Debt Ceiling would be raised sufficiently to allow Treasury borrowing through February. On two other key provisions the medical device tax which the GOP sought to delay for two years would be left in place (i.e. immediate implementation), and income verification would be required to collect the Obamacare subsidies. That last bit is only sensible in light of the fraud which is rife in many US government programs.

All fine and good, except for the right wing House Republicans crafting their own bill this morning that would indeed still delay implementation of the medical device tax. How these folks who were so over extended in pushing for the repeal of Obamacare can still feel they have the standing to mess with a reasonable compromise is a mystery. We suspect there are missives flying right now from both House and especially Senate Republican leaders to not damage the party any more than the already sizable hit it has taken in the opinion polls from the initial benighted right wing efforts.

Not that we disagree with the smaller government philosophy or the degree to which Obamacare likely does end up a huge, very expensive mess. However, there is a time and place to stand your ground. If the Republicans get stuck (due to their right wing’s recalcitrance) with even more blame than they have already shouldered, we suspect it will seriously diminish their prospects in the midterm elections next year. And isn’t it interesting that Senator Corker knew yesterday morning that the problem might still be with the House Republican right wingers.

Conclusion

While the right wing of the Republican Party seems to have slipped the tactical moorings set up by its senior leaders wanting a compromise now to avoid more damage, there are ways to address that. The right wing firebrands should remember that classical GOP financial supporters are already fed up with their antics. Other than a few ultra-conservative business owners, they should not expect much support from with big business or Wall Street.

As such, the party leaders can (and we suspect already have) exert a goodly amount of pressure to agree a near term compromise through the power of the purse. With those other funding sources now more limited, the right wingers will be more dependent than previous on the national party for election campaign funding next year (and it does all begin fairly early in the year over here.) We suspect they will be dropping any limited issues that would cause a compromise to fail.

Aside from campaign funding needs, they have already been criticized by their own more moderate party members. Further recalcitrance would just seem to vindicate the Democrats argument that the Republican Party had been coopted, and that a minority faction of one party was holding the whole country hostage. That would further diminish their credibility, and the electoral prospects of the entire Republican Party next fall.

Thanks for your interest.

p.s. As we are just back to blogging after a lengthy hiatus, some of the information on the blog is a bit dated. We will be clearing that up soon, and all of the current critical information (Calendar, Perspective, Technical Projections) is up to date.

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