The Republicans' Plan Q in the
There isn't much to say about this scheme, beyond quoting Lily Tomlin: "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."
Piecemeal budget restoration like this is transparently a trap, and one of surpassing inhumanity to boot. It's also the reason we still have the
The GOP's idea is to pass five bills or so to relieve certain corners of the federal government from the shutdown. Having failed to pass the measures Tuesday, when they required two-thirds votes, they're trying again Wednesday under rules allowing them to pass by simple majorities.
The bills cover:
Grants for disease research at the
These are among the highest-profile cuts in the shutdown. The last thing the House GOP needs is headlines like this one from
The party's hope is that they can paint the Democrats as heartless for denying those kids their cancer treatment. Think of it as a hostage-taking inside a hostage-taking. It doesn't seem to be working, since the Democrats are holding firm in insisting on an end to the entire shutdown.
Democrats fell into this very trap at the outset of the sequester. In April, after the
The sequester's impact on air passengers, who tend to be wealthier and politically better-franchised than the average voter (especially frequent flyers), was a great pressure point. Removing it allowed Congress and the country to forget about the sequester's impact on
The same thing would happen here. Relieve the pressure on veterans, guardsmen and guardswomen and their families, tourists, parents of sick children, and D.C. residents, and you can more easily overlook the shutdown's impact on everybody else -- furloughed meat inspectors, fraud enforcers,