The office of Rep. Paul Ryan has denied the report by NRO’s Jonathan Strong that the budget deal Ryan negotiated with Sen. Patty Murray limits the ability of Republican Senators to block tax increases. I linked to Strong’s report last night and criticized the deal on that basis.
You can read here about Ryan’s pushback and the pushback to that pushback from Strong’s sources. To me it seems clear that the rights of Republican Senators are limited in a meaningful way under Ryan’s deal. Indeed, if the limitation were meaningless, Murray would not have smuggled it into the deal on Harry Reid’s behalf.
The broader point is that Paul Ryan should never have been entrusted to negotiate a deal on behalf of congressional Republicans that is to receive an immediate up-or-down vote. Other Republican legislators, including Senators, should have been at the table.
No one disputes Ryan’s expertise in the area. But no single member should negotiate on behalf of all Republicans, especially when the plan is for an immediate vote.
Republican Senators should block the vote on the Ryan-Murray deal, spend the holiday break thinking about the compromise, and revisit it in January. But I doubt they will do so. The world’s alleged greatest deliberative body doesn’t deliberate much about most important matters these days.