Democrats tried to embarrass Republicans Wednesday by refusing to cast votes on House conservatives’ budget, forcing the GOP to have to kill one of its own plans.
Rather than vote for or against the conservative budget, Democrats voted “present” — taking themselves out of the equation and making Republicans have to choose between backing the conservative blueprint, which calls for severe spending cuts, or to vote against it and risk the anger of tea party voters.
Only 14 Democrats took a stand — all of them voting “No” — and another 171 refused to vote one way or the other, leaving the GOP to have to kill conservatives’ plan themselves. The final vote was 132-104.
If the conservative budget had won the vote, it would have immediately become the official House budget, replacing the official plan drawn up by Rep. Paul D. Ryan.
Democrats wanted to force that situation, figuring the conservative budget would be too extreme for many moderate Republicans and therefore would ruin the GOP’s efforts to pass a budget this year.