It’s really not a surprise. The early details contained enough for Republicans and Democrats alike to agree that this was not a good bill. (And the additional details that have emerged – a tax break for Nascar? Really? – make the deal even less palatable.) The argument in favor boiled down to this: something had to be done.
Like ten of our members, I still don’t find that argument persuasive. Statements from Rep. Bobby Scott (D-3rd) and Rep. Scott Rigell (R-2nd) came to similar conclusions: the bill doesn’t reduce the deficit.
My biggest concern was that this just kicked the argument down the road two months. There was plenty of time to solve the problem – and it didn’t happen. Yes, the blame mostly lies with the Republican-controlled House. Passage of this bill won’t make change that one iota – and, in fact, will probably make the negotiations in March even more contentious.
Redistricting is the root of this mess. But a change in the process of redistricting may not be enough. Perhaps it is time to enlarge the house, making the districts smaller and less prone to gerrymandering, even of the self-chosen kind.
We need to do something to fix a broken Washington.