John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Some Coordination Sure Would Be Nice

Posted on December 13, 2013

Most Senate Republicans will vote against the deal cut by House Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.

I guess it is too much to ask for the House and Senate Republicans to come together and agree on one strategy.

Paul Ryan put together a good package that didn’t raise taxes and cut spending by 23 billion dollars. It wasn’t the greatest legislative deal in the history of the world, nor was it a grand bargain, but for the first time in a long time, it sets the right course for the Congress to get its work done.

Ryan didn’t promise that this package would end our fiscal troubles. He didn’t say that this budget agreement would keep America on top of the world, put a car in every driveway and a chicken in every pot.

He just did his job, which as Budget Chairman is pretty impressive.

House Republicans largely followed the lead of their Budget Chairman and their Speaker, and told the shadowy organizations that serve as the Tea Party to go take a hike.

That is a message worth sending and a message that these goofy groups should start hearing more.

Unfortunately, Senate Republicans are sending a mixed message.

They are emboldening these groups by largely agreeing with them that the Ryan Budget somehow is an outrageous act of treason.

By undermining Paul Ryan, they are giving the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Club for Growth, Freedom Works and Heritage Action street credibility when they don’t deserve any.

And these groups won’t be satisfied until every incumbent is struck down in a primary. So why bother to try to please them? A complete waste of time.

This budget is perfectly serviceable. I know some Senators are aghast that the sequester has somehow been punctured. Guess what? It was going to happen anyway.

Other GOP Senators are opposing this because it requires that federal employees kick in more for their pensions.

Excuse me, but isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing, stopping the excess government spending on people who no longer work for the government?

I am all for taking care of our retirees, but let’s face it. We are going broke. And the government’s pension system is overly generous.

Republicans shouldn’t oppose a budget agreement merely because it requires that future retirees kick a little more in for their pensions.

The Ryan Budget isn’t perfect, but it is far better than having the government shut down again.

And to all those Senators who oppose the Ryan Budget because they see Paul as an obstacle to their gaining the White House, I have a simple message: Get over yourselves. You will not win the White House by trying to embarrass your colleagues. And if you are in the Senate today, it is highly unlikely that you will get the nomination with a Congressional approval rating of 10%.

It sure would be nice if House and Senate Republicans could actually try to communicate with one another every once in a while, and maybe come up with a unified strategy.

I know. I know. That is asking too much.