Fun and Games on Capitol Hill

| Fri Apr. 15, 2011 10:38 AM PDT

My Twitter feed was full of tweets this morning about a House vote on a budget proposal from the Republican Study Committee, but I didn't really understand what was going on and didn't tune in to C-SPAN to find out. But it turns out this was a pretty entertaining vote. The RSC budget is even more right-wing than Paul Ryan's framework, and this morning an amendment was proposed to adopt the RSC budget. Normally it would lose easily because a handful of Republicans would join the entire Democratic caucus in voting no. But Dems decided to vote "present" instead. Steve Benen picks up the story:

Most Republicans were inclined to support the truly insane RSC proposal, but with so many Dems voting "present," there was a very real chance that the RSC plan would actually pass — and it, not Paul Ryan's plan, would be the approved budget plan for the House.

And it nearly worked. Many Republicans who'd voted for the RSC plan had to scramble to switch their votes and avoid a huge embarrassment. Indeed, the result itself was still pretty embarrassing — there are 176 members of the Republican Study Committee, but only 119 Republicans voted for the RSC's plan.

For Congress watchers, this was quite a bit more drama than we're accustomed to seeing. David Kurtz noted that "chaos erupted" on the House floor, while The Hill said the final minutes of the vote "were characterized by shouting more typical of the British parliament than the U.S. Congress."

Isn't democracy wonderful?

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