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Matt Glassman @MattGlassman312
, 22 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
FIVE POINTS: 🚨🚨TweetStorm Edition🚨🚨

Mr. Smith Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

They say a pro is someone who does their job even when they don’t want to. Turns out I’m not a pro newsletter writer.

So all you’re getting today is a goddam tweetstorm.

Fire in the hole.
1. THE BIG DEAL IS A BIG DEAL. The budget deal was ultimately a pretty standard example of How Big Things Happen in Congress Right Now: after much yelling and some conservative show-votes, a centrist cross-party coalition passed a Senate-cut deal as the clock was expiring.
Make no mistake: this is a *huge* bill. A massive increase in defense and non-defense spending caps. A ton of disaster relief. Tax Extenders. CHIP extension. God knows what else. This will be *the* bill of the 2nd session of the 115th. Nothing further will compare.
The spending caps alone are extraordinary. Previous adjustments to the BCA have been in the $30B range. Last night it was close to $150B. Throw in the disaster money and the tax cuts and we’re back to huge—like huge with a T(rillion)—deficits.
2. SOME INSTITUTIONAL TAKEAWAYS. First, internal party division continues to structure outcomes in Congress. The deal was a fiscal win for Dems because the GOP does not have the House votes for party-line spending deals. If they did, the GOP could dare the S Dems to block a deal.
But they don’t. So the leverage shifts to Dems, who have been able to extract policy concessions.

Second, party leaders are being pulled taut by their caucuses. Notice what wasn’t in the deal: immigration. Both Ryan and Pelosi are now struggling to maintain their support.
The immigration issue isn’t going away. In fact, McConnell looks like he will keep his word and bring it up in the Senate next week. Negotiating the final DACA / wall deal in the House may yet take more brinksmanship in March, and may yet topple leaders on either side.
Third, the deal showed the limitations of POTUS control over the budget. Trump’s FY2018 budget request included huge *cuts* to non-defense spending; yesterday we got huge *increases.* That’s not just Trump’s problem. Congress routinely ignores the POTUS budget. Dog bites man.
POTUS was also strangely absent from the public side of the deal/shutdown. We don’t know what the WH was doing behind the scenes, but a POTUS not out exhorting publicly against a shutdown is, to say the least, odd. Especially with DoD the most fervent anti-CR/shutdown department.
As with the past year, there’s an unprecedented-in-our-lives disconnect beween the WH and Congress. Policymaking is happening at the Capitol, and a soap opera is taking place at the WH. That’s not *inherently* good or bad, but it hurts when POTUS leadership could be decisive.
Fourth, there is still work to be done. The deal is still only a CR, and now that caps are in place, an FY2018 omnibus should appear by 3/23. They do need to allocate the extra non-defense money, 302(b) style, and solve DACA/wall. Meanwhile, FY2019 budget request comes Monday.
3. DELIBERATION HAS CEASED IN THE SENATE. I’m with @jiwallner on this: the insistence by Senate leaders to continually fill the tree and block all amendments is crushing the institution and creating unnecessary conflict. A dozen amendments could have been processed yesterday.
Instead, we got the Randibuster. If allowed, most amendments would have failed, some may have passed. So what? That’s the essence of deliberation. The leadership is terrified of losing control to germane amendments that have floor majorities. In turn, frustration is maxing out.
This isn’t new this Congress, but it does feel like it has gone to a new level. Even the “open” immigration process next week will be a sham: the tree will be filled in order to force members to agree to 60 vote thresholds to get amendments pending, and then they will fail.
I have no desire to kill the filibuster. I like it! But the reason I liked it is that it forced the chamber to be deliberative. That’s not happening right now—at all. It makes me both angry and sad. It would be great if a cross-party coalition decided to blow it up.
4. I WROTE AN OP-ED ON MEMBER DECISION-MAKING: you can read it here:…
5. 2018 FORECASTS ARE CHANGING. Two things have moved this week: the generic ballot poll tightened, with the D lead shrinking roughly from 14 to 9 points. On the other hand, The Cook Report has moved 21 races *toward* the Dems (…) What’s going on?
These aren’t mutual exclusive, they can both reflect reality. If Trump is becoming more popular in safe R districts and less popular in swing districts, the generic ballot can move right as the forecasts move left. Aggregate national vote isn’t how Congress is constituted.
This, of course, works the other way too—if POTUS becomes more unpopular in safe D California districts, the generic ballot can move without the forecasts changing at all. It’s like the electoral college / popular vote distinction: running of opinion in safe states masks things.
I trust @Redistrict more than anyone on the forecasts, and if he says individual races are moving to the left, I believe it. So be careful with the generic ballot, especially when it swings against forecasts that are using actual district data/observations.
That’s all, folks. See you next week.

/goddam tweetstorm
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