A: Maybe they’d pretend Ryan was caving in to them, to drive a wedge between him and the Republican grassroots and undermine the most effective Conservative leader the House GOP has had in recent memory.
We can’t think of a better explanation for the surreal reaction of some Republicans to December’s omnibus federal budget legislation. Voters who wouldn’t believe Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid if they said it’s warmer in the summertime practically trampled each other rushing to repeat Reid and Pelosi’s claims that Ryan had given Democrats just what they wanted in the budget bill.
Omnibus budgets are largely a gift of Reid-Pelosi misgovernment during the past decade and they’ll always include obnoxious provisions. But can serious adults believe the Democratic minority leaders would sabotage Ryan by publicly celebrating his actions if he was really letting them win?
Under a supposedly unsatisfactory GOP House leadership, the agency most destructive of the U.S. economy, the EPA, has lost more than one-fifth of its funding and more than 2,000 employees. The omnibus bill cuts out $30 million the EPA wanted for legal defense of its extralegal actions.
The bill thwarts an Obamacare insurance company bailout, suspends its medical device tax and delays the “Cadillac Tax” on high-quality plans until 2020, long enough for repeal-and-replace to kick in.
The bill also pulls the plug on IRS attempts to throttle political activity by tax-exempt groups and bars the SEC from using regulation to force disclosure of corporate support for such organizations.
There are other things to like and plenty to dislike in the omnibus budget, but Pelosi and Reid would have less leverage if some GOP House members, posing for holy pictures, didn’t sneer at real progress because it’s less than perfect. There isn’t much time left for growing up.