Bush Budget to Pass House by One Vote?

Eleven moderate Republicans signed a letter, sent to Dennis Hastert, opposing the House version of the President’s proposed budget. The group of moderates argue that the additional tax cuts and accelerations of cuts under the 2001 reform are too much, given the ballooning deficit and ongoing spending needs. They basically want to cut the tax cut to one third it’s current size (cynics might argue that Bush intentionally proposes an absurdly large cut just so Moderate Republicans and Democrats can declare victory when the enacted additional tax cuts are only a few hundred billion dollars over 10 years).

The House has 229 R’s, 205 D’s, and one Independent/Socialist whose name I can’t recall at the moment. If only the eleven defect then there are 218 yae votes and 205+11+1=217 nay votes.

But it may not be so simple. Really close votes like these present an opportunity for relatively unknown Representatives to get, relatively speaking, a lot of press coverage. Look for lesser-known Republicans in moderate districts to draw out making a statement for or against the budget. Also watch for a little extra pork going to those same districts. And of course, both of these warnings apply equally to Democrats in moderate to conservative districts.


P.S. Here are the signers: GOP House members who signed Friday’s letter were Amo Houghton, Jack Quinn and Sue Kelly of New York; Mike Castle of Delaware; Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons of Connecticut; Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri; Fred Upton of Michigan; Todd Platts of Pennsylvania; Steven LaTourette of Ohio; and Ray LaHood of Illinois. 6 out of 8 of these are “Blue States”.

P.P.S. Yes, it’s very close. For those inclined to blame Nader, please read this. For those inclined to vote Nader again, reading it is mandatory.