House Republican leadership pulled the THUD bill, an appropriations bill for the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, from the floor of the House yesterday because it didn’t have enough support to pass from either party.
Today, Senate Republicans filibustered the Senate version of the bill because it may have had enough support to pass. And while Republicans sometimes claim they’re against sequestration, the bill they filibustered today would have partially ended it.
The vote was 54 in favor, 43 against, falling short of the 60 votes needed to move forward. The only member to cross party lines was Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who helped write the bill and urged colleagues not to block it — to no avail. [...]
The crux of the disagreement is that Republican leaders insist on setting domestic spending at levels ordered by sequestration. Democrats, by contrast, want to replace the automatic, across the board cuts and instead set spending at levels agreed to in the 2011 Budget Control Act before sequestration slashes them further.
Here’s where it becomes really confusing.
House Republicans couldn’t pass their THUD bill because it perpetuates sequestration and goes further by adhering to the framework of the Paul Ryan budget. Senate Republicans filibustered the Senate THUD bill today because it ends sequestration and does not adhere to the framework Paul Ryan budget.
Still with me?
Senate and House Republicans are pulling in two different directions but, at the same time, there is a rift in the House where some Republicans want to end sequestration while others believe any bill that funds the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development is a boondoggle. Because those socialist departments should be defunded!
Meanwhile, Republicans are also deeply-divided on whether or not we should fund the federal government beyond the month of September unless Obamacare is dismantled.
To use a technical term: it’s a clusterfuck.
The good news is passage of the Don’t Cast Aspersions On My Asparagus Act should proceed as planned either today or tomorrow morning before Congress leaves town for the Summer recess. And Americans can eat cake.