Does Budget Deal Signal a More Productive Congress?
Posted at 7:57 a.m. on Dec. 11, 2013
Sarah Binder questions whether the budget deal signals “a return to ‘regular order,’ if not a more productive Congress ahead.”
“Tuesday’s deal is a far cry from normal budgeting. [Rep. Paul] Ryan (R-Wis) and [Sen. Patty] Murphy (D-Wash) are unlikely to put the deal to the conference committee, given how little time remains for Congress to act.”
“The appropriations process remains badly fractured [and] Congress will make its spending decisions through an omnibus bill that offers lawmakers a take-it-or-leave-it deal.”
“The mini-deal is emblematic of legislative battles in polarized times: Parties come to the table only when the costs of blocking an agreement are too great to shoulder.”
Binder concludes that the current deal is a solution to avoiding catastrophe but not representative of substantive, bi-partisan deal-making:
“So long as lawmakers prefer dividing the pie (splitting differences) to enlarging the pie (crafting “win-win” deals that capitalize on the parties’ divergent priorities), only small potatoes will roast.”