We now know the basics of the deal between Biden and McCarthy and a vote is set.
Let’s take stock of where we are.
First, just to catch us up on earlier posts, the deal is broadly what was leaked at the end of last week. It’s a much better deal for White House than I think almost anyone expected. It’s roughly what you would have expected if the two sides had engaged in a normal budget negotiation this fall.
You were wondering how Biden was able to get such a good deal; in the end all this drama just amounted to getting the budget-negotiation process started early, with the GOP’s main takeaway being something (spending freeze) that their control of the House already guaranteed them via the tool of passing continuing resolutions.
Joe did a far better job than anyone imagined he could, for about the 79th time in a row. But that said, the key thing to recognize is that Biden’s hand was much stronger than anyone I read seemed to understand. What the media got right is, if a default destroyed the economy, that would hurt Joe/Dems in the general; even if people in some sense knew it was the GOP’s fault, they’d still mostly follow the heuristic “if things are going well, I’ll vote for the incumbent; if not, throw the bums out!”
But consider this: what if a default _isn’t_ devastating for the economy? And what if Joe and Kevin both know it? Well in that case, default is fine for Biden, because he can then blame whatever economic difficulties occur between now and Election Day on the GOP-created default! Of course not all such blame will stick, but the point is, if the default _doesn’t_ meaningfully damage the economy, then it’s a net positive for Joe’s re-election chances, because it means he’ll get at-least-a-little-bit reduced blame for whatever bad things (recession, slow wage growth, inflation, etc.) were going to happen anyway.
Now we can say the following. There is a deal. Both sides are presenting it to their members. McCarthy announced plans to hold a vote on Wednesday. Details of the deal are dribbling out. Broadly they seem to conform to reporting over the last 72 hours. The big sticking point at the end was work requirements. There are changes to SNAP and TANF. But they seem pretty limited, mainly focus on able-bodied recipients without children between the ages of 50 and 54.
These concessions are not nothing. But they’re basically what you would have expected if the Republicans had never played with the debt ceiling in the first place but had done a regular budget negotiation. On the merits this is a very good result because it means we won’t have the financial chaos of a debt default and we appear to have far more modest concessions than almost anyone was anticipating. In other words, the hostage taking was a fail. If you walk into Denny’s, pull out a gun and “say gimme the money,” but then you end up just getting served breakfast that means you failed. And that’s kind of what happened here.
The Texas State House impeached Attorney General Ken Paxton by an overwhelming vote of 121-23. Under Texas state law Paxton is immediately suspended from office pending his Senate trial.
Having watched some of today’s debate I was surprised that the vote was so lopsided. At the end of the day he’s a notorious crook. I don’t know enough about the internal politics of the Texas House GOP caucus to know how much factionalism played a role. But as I said, he’s a notorious crook and it’s shocking he managed to remain as long as he did as the state’s highest law enforcement officer. Maybe that’s what it came down to.
As I’ve noted in running posts over the last day or so, there’s still no deal. So we need to be tentative in any analysis of how this “deal” happened since it hasn’t happened. But assuming it does come together, how did we get here? How did Biden get this deal?
Big picture: I don’t have a terribly good answer. But my best guess is that some combination of the following two things got us here.
TPM Reader JF flags for our attention that the establishment Republican who was considered a possible contender for next year’s Senate race, Karrin Taylor Robson, has announced she’s not running. The guy Republicans really, really wanted is popular former Gov. Doug Ducey but he seems to have made clear he’s not interested. So far gubernatorial pretender Kari Lake is considered the top contender for the GOP nomination. There are a few other possible GOP entrants but they’re all in the Lake/Blake Masters type candidate category.
This means Ruben Gallego is the only candidate in the race. Meanwhile, Kyrsten Sinema has filed paperwork for a potential candidacy. And she certainly may run. But it seems increasingly questionable that she will.
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Evidence shows Congressman Paul Gosar’s digital director is behind an online persona that Fuentes called one of his “strongest soldiers.”
Nick Fuentes was under attack.
On May 6, 2022, two high-ranking members of Fuentes’ white-supremacist “Groyper” movement had defected from his organization and gone on a rival far-right streaming show to criticize Fuentes and air their grievances about the group. Fuentes responded five days later on his own stream, “America First.” After denouncing his “enemies,” Fuentes raised his hand and made a demand from his remaining followers.