Wednesday, September 30, 2009

House Gambit: Pass the Cuts, Blame the Republicans When They Won't Vote for Revenue Later

This comes from the comments in my previous diary, just to let everyone know what is happening here as these contentious budgets with their devastating cuts appear to be passing in the House using Republican votes.

The House Democrats have introduced a supplemental spending bill to "save" the Promise Scholarship and other important things like revenue sharing, etc. They have not identified the funding for the $434.7 million dollar bill - and it appears that the House leadership wants to have it both ways here; appease the "agreement" that was made with Senator Bishop, and then fall back on the position later that they really tried to save these quality of life issues, sure they did, when they know darn well that the Senate Republicans will not vote for them.

Call it a "Get Out of Cuts Free Card".

The supplemental would restore about $197.8 million in funding for the Promise Scholarships, state aid for libraries and revenue sharing to communities. It also would add $236.8 million in money for health care for the poor.

The supplemental bill passed by a 66-42 margin, a straight party-line vote, but it’s future in the Republican-controlled Senate is far less certain. Republicans have said they want to pass a budget with deep cuts and no new taxes. The supplemental bill would have to be accompanied by some sort of targeted tax increase.

And when it comes to actually finishing the job, this is what we get:

When asked how the legislature could pass a spending bill without the money to back it, state Rep. George Cushingberry, D-Detroit, replied, "We’ll get to that by the end of the day."

Sorry, but if you are relying on the Senate to save your souls and thinking you can wash your hands later of this fiasco - forget it. The voters aren't that stupid.

And another interesting bit of information has come up in the last hour. I'm usually not one to print rumors, and contrary to popular opinion, I am not any kind of "insider" - but this was relayed to me by a reliable source (OMG now I'm MIRS. Oh well.) and I'm going to go with it.

Rumor has it there is a movement underfoot to remove the current Democratic leadership in the House. Not just Dillon, but all of them. Complaints about how this is going down are really starting to take hold with Democratic members, and we could see some action on that front soon. If I get anything in print that confirms this - I will get it up here as soon as I can.

Again, this is just strong rumor at this point - but if these budgets go through on the strength of Republican support, I hope it's true. I didn't vote for the Republicans, and neither did the majority of Michigan. Time to act as the voters intended last fall - or you won't get their support next time around.