Despite the fact that the Ryan-Murray budget deal passed the House with overwhelming support, it was not a slam dunk in the Senate as of late last week. Without Paul Ryan’s strong influence, individual GOP senators were leery of the deal. Even the defense hawks view this deal as ‘too little too late.’
The Senate whip count began with only one Republican – John McCain – vocally supporting the deal. Moreover, it’s not a sure thing that there won’t be any Democrat defections either. On Sunday, Senator Dick Durbin was worried he wouldn’t get 60 votes for the deal. He candidly noted that “a handful of members of the Senate are vying for the presidency in years to come and are thinking about this vote in that context and others are, frankly, afraid of this new force, the Tea Party force, the Heritage Foundation force, that is threatening seven out of the 12 senators running for reelection.”
Senator Durbin is absolutely correct. Primary challenges matter, and that is why McConnell and Cornyn were forced to step away from this bad deal. But there is a huge difference between opposing the deal out of principle and quietly voting no to save their hinds back home……To Read More….