Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), whose bipartisan budget is set to come to a vote in the House on Thursday, took a shot at Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Thursday morning for opposing the bill.
Rubio was among the first lawmakers to denounce the bill -- doing so within minutes of its announcement.
Ryan reacted in an animated fashion when asked about Rubio saying the deal would make it harder for people to achieve the American Dream. Ryan looked off-camera briefly and then suggested that Rubio should "read the deal."
"Read the deal and get back to me," Ryan said. "People are going to do what they need to do. Look, in the (Republican Senate) minority, you don't have the burden of governing."
Ryan was then asked again about Rubio coming out in opposition shortly after it was announced.
"I thought it was a little strange. ... It is what it is."
Interestingly, this is an argument Rubio himself advanced when he was selling amnesty earlier this year. Republicans can sit back and do nothing, he argued, or they can try to resolve the problem, thereby bringing millions of undocumented residents “out of the shadows.” The bill was fundamentally flawed, of course, in part because its border security triggers came after the amnesty provisions went into effect. This would have proven disastrous if the legislation became law. Nonetheless, Rubio was at least attempting to find a solution -- i.e., govern. But now, it seems, ever since the Gang of Eight’s bill went nowhere, he’s throwing a bone to the base by moving to the Right (or at least staying on the Right) on other issues. The budget is one of them.
The details of the compromise aside -- Guy wrote less-than-encouragingly that “it could be worse” while Conn took a harsher view calling it “a step…towards bigger government” -- Rubio cannot afford to vote for a bill that increases taxes and spending before the 2016 presidential primary. If indeed he runs for president in 2016, without a doubt he‘s going to take some heat for his immigration bill. Does he also want to be on-the-record voting for tax increases and more spending too? Mitch McConnell faces a similar predicament.
At the end of the day I’m not too worried if the proposed budget deal passes both chambers and becomes law. As Allahpundit wrote yesterday, when we’re trillions of dollars in debt and Congress is debating miniscule spending cuts and increases (a billion here, a billion there) what difference, as Hillary Clinton might say, does it make? Real reforms will only come when Republicans hold the levers of power. Until then everything is just for show.
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