Even In Nevada, Sometimes The House Deals You All Aces

Harry Reid is probably pretty proud of himself tonight.  And if Republicans behave as usual, he has good reason to be.  After working and dealing with Republicans to come up with a bi-partisan jobs bill filled with tax cuts and unrelated pork programs, Reid has thrown the bill in the trash and drafted a new copy with just the tax cuts and infrastructure spending.  The cost of his new bill is less then half of the old one.  As AP put it, he has all but dared the Republicans to vote against the new bill.

This isn’t a bad move for Reid.  If Republicans vote for it, he is already in a position to call the bill a victory for himself and the Obama administration.  He can put “Taming the Republicans in a Tea Party Era” on his resume.  If the Republicans vote against it, Reid can claim he offered them a bill with tax cuts, no pork and infrastructure spending, but Republicans were so partisan that they wouldn’t go for it.  Nevermind that Reid was the one who scrapped the bi-partisan deal they had already arrived at.

Here is why the Republicans should play the hand he dealt them.  The first inclination is going to be to attack Reid for throwing away their bi-partisan agreement.  But what Reid stripped out of the bill was unrelated items and pork spending that we can’t afford anyway.  He also stripped out popular Bush tax cuts and the Patriot Act which Republicans need to highlight separately instead of allowing Dems to sneak them in to other bills.  What Reid has given them is not a perfect bill, but it is far better than whatever the socialist Democrat’s plan B might be.  In other words, if Republicans reject this, the next bill will be more like the failed Stimulus bill.  Many Republicans were calling for a payroll tax holiday over the Stimulus bill originally.

My advice to Republicans is to highlight that Democrats are now seeking tax cuts to stimulate the economy, an idea typically owned by the Right.  Then they need to take the bill back to Harry Reid with a list of Stimulus pork that they can cut to pay for it.  After all, aren’t we in the era of Paygo?  If the Republicans play their hand right, we can see who is really bluffing.  I’ll tell you right now, Pelosi and her House have already folded on Reid’s game.

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