WASHINGTON — Plagued by internal divisions, Republicans stumbled badly on two budget fronts as the House postponed action on a major deficit-reduction bill and the Senate Finance Committee couldn’t summon a majority for promised tax-cut extensions.
Republican leaders insisted that the setbacks were temporary. But the level of disarray was striking, and the delays throw a monkey wrench into plans to wrap up this session of Congress.
Or as Scrappleface puts it:
November 11, 2005
GOP Elects House Majority Minority Leader
by Scott Ott
(2005-11-11) ‘” Moments after failing to muster enough votes to pass a $51 billion deficit reduction bill in the House, even after dropping a controversial oil exploration provision, Republicans moved to elect a New Hampshire lawmaker to the newly-created post of House Majority Minority Leader.
The anger among center-right Republicans is growing over the refusal by a small minority of the caucus in both the House and the Senate to advance the agenda of the Party generally. There will always be issues on which some members bolt, but ANWR exploration in a time of $3.50 oil is a national security issue which is why abandoning the Party on this issue is so much more significant than any other.
The House leadership has got to push for a vote on ANWR –even if it loses. To take a case to the country in the fall of 2006 requires first that the Party actually believe in something, and a national security platform has to include seriousness on oil exploration.