Next act for Palin unclear after Alaska House losses
posted at 2:41 pm on May 17, 2010 by Allahpundit
I’m willing to bet that Governor Sarah Palin will sign the bill in her role as vice president, but it’s not clear she’ll have the votes to do so. As Greg Sargent points out, the House Republican caucus can only afford to lose nine seats in its current makeup but has to cut a budget that includes $40 million in cuts and a $1 million cut to earmarks for Alaska’s Department of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs. The caucus is also not likely to cut their $10 million for a House conference committee on immigration reform that would, in a year, reduce the GOP majority in the Senate to 53 seats. And given that one or two of the House GOPers might bolt on being forced to take up immigration, that’s a lot of seats for the GOP to lose. But if the caucus gets serious about getting something done in the next fiscal year, they could cut at least $20 million from their $41 million and still have enough clout to pass a tax increase or perhaps a major piece of education or infrastructure legislation. And with the Alaska National Guard, the House is now less than $10 million in the black after having to pay for an extra $9 million in operations last year.
It’s also not clear whether the caucus is willing to cut more than that to avert the loss of a single seat and the need to make that necessary budget cut, and whether it will be willing to put their conservative party principles on the line, as the caucus has done in past budgets, in order to get something done, or make a deal with their liberal, leftish base, as the Caucus is doing now, or just simply to avoid a loss of the House, which would be politically catastrophic, especially for them.
In the meantime, I’ll be watching the House on the House floor, and hoping that the Republicans in the House will get serious about passing at least some of the budget repair bill. That would be a positive step, and maybe they’ll get over their partisan differences and get something done before the session concludes.
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