Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This isn't your tea party's Congress

Last week Jonathan Allen wrote in Vox, This isn't your tea party's Congress "This is what it looks like when Washington works. The Senate's on track to confirm Loretta Lynch. Republicans and some Democrats are working to give President Obama fast-track trade authority. Last week, Obama signed a bipartisan law — negotiated by House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — that ensures doctors won't see cuts to the payments they get for treating Medicare patients."

Here's his explanation: "McConnell ran against Obama, and voters handed him the keys to kingdom. But to prove he can govern, Obama's onetime nemesis will have to work with the president. If he can't do it, the chances of Chuck Schumer running the Senate next year go up and the odds of a Republican winning the White House go down. McConnell no longer has to worry that working with Obama will give the president an electoral boost. No matter how much you assist a lame duck, you know he'll never fly."

"At the same time, Obama is freed from the burden of worrying as much about the electoral hopes of congressional Democrats as he does about his own agenda. He'll probably never say it that way. But it's the truth. He's willing to divide Democrats and turn unions against them to try to win a Pacific trade deal. With time running out on what he calls the "fourth quarter" of his presidency, Obama has to work with McConnell and Boehner if he wants to add to his legislative legacy."

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