On MSNBC’s Daily Rundown earlier today, host Chuck Todd suggested that Republicans could have passed a “clean” continuing resolution — one without that dirty defunding-Obamacare language — if they had been willing to work with Democrats instead of seeking near-unanimity among Republicans. I replied that this option, whatever its merits, was not really open to the Republican leadership, because House Democrats don’t just want a clean bill: They want one that undoes the sequestration. And they also want to keep Republicans at each other’s throats, not work with them on a budget bill. My comments were greeted skeptically.
Here’s an article from ten days ago that lends some support for my claim. It reports that Steny Hoyer, the Democratic whip in the House, “took a harder line by vowing to oppose any spending bill that includes the [sequestration] cuts.” Other Democrats have pledged to vote against any bill that keeps the sequestration. That position may soften. But I don’t think that a clean CR would have been likely to pass last week.