The budget standoff was only ever going to play out in one way. There were never going to be enough House Republican votes to support a default, so there was never going to be a default. Instead the House Republicans in toss up districts were always going to force Kevin McCarthy to cut a deal with President Biden, which meant Biden was going to have most of the leverage, which in turn meant Biden was going to get most of what he wanted out of the deal.
In hindsight it’s frankly stunning how far the entire media and pundit class, on both sides, went in the name of pretending that some other outcome would happen. MSNBC spent a month scaremongering for ratings by insisting we’d end up in a default because the insurrectionist House Republicans would somehow magically be able to make it happen even though they didn’t have the votes for it. And right wing media also spent a month insisting that the insurrectionist House Republicans would somehow magically be able to get whatever they wanted out of this deal, in spite of having almost no leverage.
But after the (entire) media spends something like the budget standoff pushing ratings-friendly narratives that it knows are fictional, in the end reality always wins, and the thing that was always going to happen ends up happening. The funny part is the sheer number of people in the media and pundit class who end up talking themselves into believing the crap they’re pushing. They always end up enraged once reality happens, instead of the fantasy thing they’d been hyping.
In any case, it’s good to finally have this budget standoff nonsense over with. Then again, earlier today MSNBC was still trying to hype the notion that the budget agreement is in danger of not having enough votes to pass. This is also fiction. And again, simple math makes clear why.
The clear majority of House Democrats and the clear majority of House Republicans will vote for this budget agreement, which means it will pass with a clear majority. The Senate will then have to swallow it because the alternative would be a default, and the Senate is certainly unwilling to cause a default. It really is as simple as that.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report