The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

The GOP is rockin’ confident about the Ryan budget

04/08/2014 7:00 AM

04/08/2014 9:09 AM

Spring sure is nice after such a long winter, isn’t it?

• “Yeah, we’re good.” — Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan on the prospects that the House will pass his proposed budget in the weeks to come.

The House once again is expected to sign off on Ryan’s budget, which contains several controversial provisions regarding Medicaid and Medicare. But Republicans can’t count on any votes from Democrats. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said it bluntly: “We’re not going to lose anybody,” meaning no Ds will back the Ryan plan.

• “It has been framed as anti-teacher, but it is anything but.” — Kansas state Rep. Marvin Kleeb, an Overland Republican, on repeal of due process procedures aimed at protecting teachers against unjust dismissal.

Kleeb and other Republicans insisted that the new approach the Legislature passed this weekend will make it easier to get rid of lousy teachers. That, in turn, will help competent teachers, he said.

• “What happened to Ronnie White was terribly unfair.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill on the 1999 nomination of the former Missouri Supreme Court judge to the federal bench. President Barack Obama has nominated him for a second time, although White is still awaiting a hearing.

Missouri Sen. John Ashcroft derailed White 15 years ago for being — in Ashcroft’s words — soft on crime. Many viewed that attack as unfair and a political ploy connected to Ashcroft’s intense re-election fight against Gov. Mel Carnahan in 2000. Now White is getting a rare second chance, although Jason Rosenbaum reports his prospects remain uncertain.

• “A challenge for a Republican House and a Republican Senate is the ability to send the message to the country that the Republicans are willing to govern, not just willing to complain. And I think we will meet that challenge.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, on what the GOP must accomplish to regain the Senate in November.

Missouri mercifully doesn’t have a U.S. Senate race on the ballot this year. Still, the state’s two senators, Blunt and McCaskill, have a lot on the line in terms of their power and influence next year depending on which party controls the chamber. Blunt remains confident that the GOP will regain the majority.

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