Unified pushback on the ruinous Obama budget in the Senate.  From Politico, Fierce fights may follow budget victory

…Some of this nervousness already seemed evident Wednesday night in a Senate fight over how to proceed on Obama’s climate change legislation. On two successive votes, one as large as 67-31, a solid bipartisan coalition blocked efforts by liberal environmental interests wanting to use expedited budget procedures to circumvent Senate filibuster rules on cap-and-trade revenue provisions.

The defeat raises the stakes further for health care reform as the big remaining prize for the White House in the budget debate. And to a remarkable degree, Obama has been willing to blur the lines between himself and fellow Democrats to help move the process forward with this goal in mind.

The House resolution, brought to the floor Wednesday night, instructs health and tax committees to act on the issue no later than Sept. 29 and would trigger the very same expedited process rejected by the Senate in the case of climate change legislation.

The Republicans have an alternative plan:

For example, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking member on the House Budget Committee, outlined a detailed proposal Wednesday that guts the economic recovery plan approved only weeks ago and then adds tax breaks for business and the wealthy while protecting oil companies from tax increases sought by Obama.

The $787 billion stimulus bill would be cut by about two-thirds and a five-year freeze would be imposed on discretionary nondefense spending. This runs contrary to not only Obama’s agenda but also bipartisan amendments in the Senate on Wednesday, adding billions altogether for foreign aid as well as new anti-drug initiatives along the U.S.-Mexico border

Continuing to inhabit its alternate reality, the one where tax cuts don’t stimulate the economy but stupifying raises in taxes does, the White House continues to play the blame game:

“If you expected a GOP alternative to the failed policies of the past that got our country into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, then I have two words for you: April Fools’.” said Kenneth Baer, communications director for the Office of Management and Budget.

Indeed, many of the tax ideas show no effort to temper those tax breaks — under the Bush administration — that most benefit upper-income families. And Ryan would add on top of this a cut in the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, from 35 percent, and temporarily suspend all capital gains taxes for 2009 and 2010.

Is some measure of sanity returning to Washington?  We’ll have to wait and see, but this is a good sign.

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