Can Republicans Take Yes for An Answer on a Budget Deal?
Author: Greg Valliere
November 14, 2023
THIS BEING WASHINGTON, there’s still a risk of a snag this week: a handful of hard-line Republican activists are opposed to passing any bill that fails to cut spending; Johnson’s proposal would defer the issue of spending cuts until deadlines are hit on Jan. 19 and Feb. 2.
DEMOCRATS ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT this “kick the can” outcome because they know that Johnson will need some votes from them, which means the far right could punish the new speaker for dealing with Democrats. This passes for serious strategizing on Capitol Hill.
WE THINK THE ODDS are roughly 60-40 that a budget deal can prevail in the next few days, but the bill will have one glaring omission: there’s no funding for Israel and Ukraine, which may not pass until early next year. Support for Israel is fairly solid; support for Ukraine continues to lose momentum.
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EXPECTATIONS FOR TOMORROW’S meeting between Presidents Biden and Xi were always minimal, and now comes news that pro-labor Democrats want to pull the plug on President Biden’s goal of announcing the conclusion of substantial portions of a new Asian-Pacific trade pact.
BIDEN HAD HOPED TO FINALIZE the terms of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, an agreement that aims to strengthen alliances and economic ties among the United States and its allies in East and South Asia. The pact is viewed as a way to thwart China’s growing trade dominance in the region.
DESPITE PRESSURE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE to get a deal in time for the Biden-Xi summit, pro-labor Democrats — led by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio — have succeeded in scuttling the deal until next year. They say the pact lacks adequate protections for workers in the countries it covers.
THIS SETBACK IS ANOTHER MAJOR VICTORY for organized labor, which has been on a roll this year, and it’s a disappointment for Biden, who continues to face opposition within his own party. Criticism from Democrats like David Axelrod has infuriated Biden and his top aides; the increasingly frail president has no intention of stepping down, sources say.
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