Analysis | Senate Republicans once again voluntarily cede their negotiating power

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Analysis: The Senate GOP decided to stay out of talks over the debt ceiling and budget, only to learn that this meant accepting a deal they didn’t like at all.

In a reversal of the usual fortunes of Capitol Hill negotiations, the lower chamber sent the Senate a take-it-or-default-on-the-debt scenario.“I probably better not comment on that,” Sen. John Thune , the No. 2 GOP leader in the chamber and a big supporter of the Pentagon, told reporters Thursday.

McConnell made several similar moves in 2019 and 2020, when he deferred to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as they negotiated a debt-ceiling-and-budget deal, a new North American trade deal and an early coronavirus pandemic response measure. “Unfortunately, this bill poses a mortal risk to our national security by cutting our defense budget, which I cannot support as grave dangers gather on the horizon,” Sen. Tom Cotton said in a speech Thursday.

Other House Republicans, including those who hold traditional national security views, are privately dreading the expected vote later this year to provide more funding, because Trump and conservative personalities such as Tucker Carlson have stoked an anti-Zelensky sentiment among conservative Republicans who vote in primaries.

will be mostly flat. Massie provided the key swing vote to get the overall legislation out of the Rules Committee and on to the full House, so including his measure probably clinched the deal for McCarthy.

 

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