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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) — Some Republicans envisioned a successful rope-a-dope strategy for this year’s elections: Don’t make mistakes, and let the Democrats stew in the juices of Obamacare and a strapped middle class.

That take-no-risks approach is unraveling. Congressional Republicans are offering proposals on major matters, and the party’s right wing — whose members Senator John McCain called “wacko birds” — is omnipresent in Washington and across the U.S.

Congressional Republicans have introduced initiatives on immigration, health care, and economic mobility and poverty that are creating policy and political fissures. There were four separate Republican responses to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last week.

House Speaker John Boehner wants his chamber to pass immigration reform. Any compromise that is acceptable to Hispanic and Asian-American groups draws fire from the party’s sizable nativist bloc and political consultants who don’t want to divert attention from their campaign against health care reform. The Speaker’s task is enormously complicated, the prospects uphill.

On health care, three leading Republican senators recently offered an alternative to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, one they say is more market-centric. But fewer people would be covered, the prohibition on discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions would be weakened, and the authors already are backing away from a proposal to deny tax benefits for some employer-based plans. Many Democrats would relish a debate over the competing plan.

Florida senator Marco Rubio, a contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, took on economic inequality by proposing to expand the earned income tax credit for poor people without children; Obama cited Rubio’s proposal while offering a similar one during his State of the Union address. Rubio deserves credit for trying, but he has gotten tripped up in the specifics: whether the costs should be offset by other reductions in the tax break for the working poor or whether the entire credit should be reshaped.

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Daniel Jones

    Texas just needs to appoint Dolores Umbridge to a post in education and get it out of the way..

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      The problem is Texas won’t understand the reference.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      The problem is Texas won’t understand the reference because too many communities and schools have banned that author’s books, along with those of Mark Twain, George Steinbeck, H. G. Wells, George Orwell, J. D. Sallinger, and anyone else who promotes critical thinking.

  • Dominick Vila

    The real problem afflicting the GOP is that any move towards compromise, or even a hint that they are giving in on issues such as immigration reform and income inequality, will infuriate their base. A year ago, Sen. Marco Rubio was riding hide, with many suggesting he would be a good VP, or even a good presidential candidate, his chances went down the drain the moment he endorsed immigration reform. The same happened when Sen. McCain the last time he ran for re-election. He had no choice but to do a 180 a support higher fences. The House will probably pass an immigration reform bill, but I don’t expect anything substantial, other than higher fences, more border guards and, if we are lucky, acknowledging the children of illegal immigrants born in the USA are Americans, consistent with the Constitution.
    Their problem has nothing to do with the complexity of the challenges we are facing, but with their core values, and that is not going to change in the next few months or years.

    • danmurphy2011

      Replace GOP with DEM and you understand the problem of passing an immigration bill. Never happen until Obama goes. Jeb Bush would get it done.

      • Dominick Vila

        The biggest challenge for a comprehensive immigration reform bill is that it will impact the bottom line of large farm owners, the hospitality industry, the garment industry, and other sectors, that typically lean Republican.
        You do have a point regarding Jeb Bush being able to convince fellow Republicans to pursue this issue. We have to go no further than Reagan, who granted amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants in 1986, and granted asylum and a fat path to citizenship to Cubans the moment the stepped on U.S. soil, to understand that the leaders most likely to succeed on issues considered controversial by the right, are conservative Presidents. The reason is that in such instances the President takes the heat away from congressmen and senators, and the rank and file are likely to ignore a “transgression” if that President protects and champions other causes close to their hearts.
        Having said all this, I expect the House will pass an immigration law reform bill this year, and the President will sign it. How extensive will its scope be remains to be seen, but some progress is likely to be made.

      • Bill

        What can anyone expect to get from Jeb that they didn’t get from Dad and GW. The GOP have no real policies, only talking points. Burden the normal people with taxes paid by mostly normal people (sales taxes) while protecting the rich at all costs. They take away unemployment, food stamps, money from education and are always going after Social Security, Medicare and all the other programs that benefit average people. They have no problem raising taxes on the little man but don’t go after the rich (that’s class warfare) but its ok to try to eliminate the minimum wage, how much less should people be paid under trickle down.

        • Dominick Vila

          What can anyone expect to get from Jeb that they didn’t get from Dad and GW?

          Hanging chads…

  • pisces63

    Texas against critical thinking???? You would need a brain first and that ends that discussion. They’ll continue as they have since Sam Houston.

  • Mark Forsyth

    Even if the gop has the biggest Bozos on the bus,it won’t matter one damn bit if Democrats don’t get out and vote en masse.

  • howa4x

    It’s the base stupid! Republicans will only be very successful in gerrymandered in Gerry- mandered house districts but will face stiff competition in the senate races. The GOP’s main problem is that the Mic is not local but nationwide and whoever grabs it can say something that will cause the GOP central to say this is what he meant to say, as in uncle Huck’s case. The real tension is that the base wants no compromise and the professionals know they need to show they can. This will cause probable senate candidates to veer sharply to the right in the primaries and claw back to the center in the general. incumbents face some obstacles. Dr no in Kentucky has a challenge on the right and democratic governor that is pushing the ACA, so if he campaigns against it to satisfy the tea party, then in the general he will have some splaning to do. As more and more get coverage it will be harder to talk repeal. Arizona is where the John birch society 1st took hold along with Texas so they have always had a far right working group. Saying McCain is to liberal shows how far out they are.
    The other big problem for the GOP is who is going to shut up Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, Coulter,Huckabee, and a host of bloggers. They do better when the republicans are out of power so who knows what they will say to start a national reaction.