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What’s happening in the House

The House will be debating the budget well into the night, and very likely into tomorrow, if not Sunday. If you want an in-depth analysis of what’s being discussed and what the effect of each line item will be, you can’t beat Legislative Study Group’s floor report on HB1. If you want to get a gut-level feel for what the politics of this will be, check out this excellent use of the passive voice by House Republican Caucus Chair Larry Taylor.

House Republican Caucus Chairman Larry Taylor of Friendswood says Texans should understand that the House’s GOP supermajority is simply being prudent — not callous — by cutting spending and avoiding higher taxes.

“It may be a form of tough love,” Taylor said Friday morning, on the eve of floor debate of a two-year budget that cuts spending by nearly $23 billion.

“It’s easy for our Democratic colleagues to want to spend money we don’t have and to support taxes we can’t afford,” he said. “But we know the short term, feel good, share the wealth approaches to solving our problems by the Democrats are a recipe for disaster.”

[…]

“There will be numerous attempts to portray Republicans as heartless, without compassion and cruel,” he said, predicting the tenor of Friday’s debate. “But the reality is we had the courage and conviction to tell the taxpayers the truth. … This is the hand that we’ve been dealt.

Emphasis mine. Of course, the Republicans have been in complete control of Texas’ government for the past eight years, so one wonders who Taylor thinks the dealer of that hand is. The economy had something to do with it, to be sure, but if cutting public education and Medicaid and what have you is such a dandy idea, why didn’t we do it before now? Who do you think is going to want to talk about this more in 2012, the Democrats or the Republicans? Rep. Mike Villarreal, who’s been very strong on messaging throughout this debate, EoW, and Back to Basics have more

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