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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Next GOP Crackup? -- Review & Outlook, The Wall Street Journal

Republican spenders want to break the annual budget caps. 

The ObamaCare rollout has handed Republicans a remarkable gift, and they are now ahead in the polls for which party should run Congress. The main obstacle to GOP political gains in 2014 would be another stupid, futile budget standoff—and Republicans are just the party to try.

This time the insurrection isn't coming from the Heritage Foundation-tea party caucus, but from defense hawks and appropriators who want to break the annual spending caps in current law. This would be another act of political masochism, handing budget leverage to Senate Democrats and frustrating the GOP's fiscal conservative base.

The defense rebellion is led by Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon,who wants Congress to cancel the $20 billion Pentagon spending cut for fiscal 2014. Many of the 34 Republicans on his committee are threatening to vote against a fiscal 2014 budget that keeps the caps and automatic sequester in place. 

 Meanwhile, GOP House appropriators want to scrap discretionary budget caps. In a recent letter to House colleagues, Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers of Kentucky and the 12 "cardinals" who chair subcommittees complained that the 2014 sequester cuts "would result in more indiscriminate across the board reductions that could have negative consequences on critically important federal programs, especially our national defense."
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