We now have some real indications that the fiscal 2013 budget plan proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is going to be as much a political albatross as a plus for Republicans.
The first real proof came yesterday when two Republicans members of Ryan’s committee –Justin Amash (MI) and Tim Huelskamp (KY) — voted against the plan because it wasn’t conservative enough. According to Ezra Klein, a third budget committee Republican — Mick Mulvaney (SC) — voted for it in committee, but may vote against in on the House floor. As Ezra also notes, the uber anti-spending Club for Growth is also very unhappy with the Ryan plan because it doesn’t spending fast enough.
The Ryan plan eventually was approved, but the vote was by a razor-thin 19-18. That hardly shows a lot of political confidence in a plan proposed by someone who only months ago some Republican leaders were trying to convince to run for president.
The GOP defections in the budget committee could spell big trouble for the plan when it’s debated by the full House. Unlike what happened with last year’s continuing resolutions and debt ceiling increases, it is as certain as anything can be in politics that Democrats will not provide the votes needed to pass the Ryan plan. As a result, the GOP leadership will have to find the votes to pass it solely from the Republican caucus and the vote in committee indicates that’s going to be very difficult.
The Ryan plan also may be in trouble from the more moderate wing of the Republican Party. As John Sides notes over at The Monkey Cage (and thanks for the link to CG&G, John) universal, unqualified, take-it-for-granted support from GOP voters for the spending cuts Ryan is proposing isn’t likely to be as forthcoming as the bravado behind the release of the plan would have made anyone think.
Over at his blog at the Washington Post, Jonathan Bernstein (thanks to you too for the link) quoted several “Republican operatives” saying the same thing: The Ryan plan will be a problem for the GOP through the election.
Based on this…It’s hard not to wonder how hard the House Republican leadership will try to help Ryan get the budget resolution adopted when it’s debated by the House. He could well be on his own.