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Leadership is also quietly hoping that the CR debate — and the subsequent negotiations with Senate Democrats — will educate new Members on the realities of the legislative process.
“The upcoming CR vote is going to be instructive to rank-and-file Members, new freshmen,” the GOP aide said.
“One, these spending cuts, what do they actually mean in your district? And two, once it actually passes the House, it goes to the Senate” where Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and his Democratic majority are sure to make significant changes, the aide explained.
The leadership aide agreed, saying, “hopefully everyone understands the problem is Harry Reid.”
Additionally, the leadership aide noted that because Boehner and Cantor have committed to using an open process on bills of consequence such as the CR, Republicans will inevitably find themselves on the losing end of votes on the floor — a reality that majorities have rarely dealt with.
“It’s going to shock people the first time we lose one, and we will,” the leadership aide said.
For now, Members seem to be embracing any chance to offer amendments. For instance, the RSC is expected to pursue an amendment to the CR to pare spending to 2008 levels, and Chairman Jim Jordan (Ohio) last month unveiled a plan for cuts beyond that in the coming years.
RSC spokesman Brian Straessle said that if the group isn’t successful in bringing spending in the CR down to 2008 levels, it would try to force votes on Jordan’s more aggressive spending cut proposal.
He added that the RSC’s spending proposal is a “kind of a marker for where we think we should be going” that could be used as the basis for other amendments to the CR.
Straessle said there is wisdom in the GOP leadership’s strategy to use the floor fight as a temperature-taker for future budget and spending battles, saying it is “all part of that process of the House deciding where it wants to be.”
“It’s good to finally be having these discussions,” he added.