In Washington, GOP rebellion threatens to derail efforts to adopt budget. - In Georgia, a rebellion may come from Georgia voters.
In the Senate, where debate over the budget began on Monday, moderates are pressing to reinstate language opposed by the leadership and the White House that would make it more difficult for Congress to extend President Bush's tax cuts; they want to require that the cuts, as well as any spending on new programs, be offset with savings in other areas. Last year, the fight over these "pay as you go" rules prevented Congress from adopting a budget, a fate the Republican leadership hopes to avoid this year.
In the House, meanwhile, an alliance of Republican conservatives and moderates is also pressing for new rules, in this case to make it harder for lawmakers to approve spending that exceeds the limits set by the budget.
With the moderates' support [in the House], conservatives presented the party leadership with a proposal that would require a three-fifths majority [a "super majority"] for any spending proposals that exceed the budget guidelines. They threatened to block passage of the budget legislation if their demands were not met.
The Republican disputes could have far-reaching political effects if they derail adoption of a budget. Republicans have said for decades that they could tamp down the growth in spending, if only they could get Democrats out of the way. As spending and the federal deficit continued to rise, that promise became a theme of last year's election campaign.
Now, with a Republican in the White House and the party more firmly in control of Congress, the 2006 budget has become a test of Republicans' ability to make good on their vow.
(3-15-05 New York Times.)
While the GOP in Washington is potentially facing a rebellion from within as GOP moderates and conservatives threaten to derail the administration's efforts to adopt a budget, in Georgia the state GOP may well face a rebellion from voters come 2006 in reaction to the $1 billion increase in spending that the Republican-controlled General Assembly is about to approve.