Things Fall Apart
As we tweeted last night as events were rapidly developing, the hopes for a budget deal that would send everyone home happy appeared to evaporate yesterday. House Democrats complained that Senate budget chief Tommy Williams had “misled” them. Dewhurst showed up in the House chamber and disappeared into the back hall. Perry, forever in search of relevance, began contacting Republicans, urging them to vote against restoring the education cuts. Williams and Perry are tight—always have been—and they probably had this play in mind from the beginning; earlier in the month, Perry had indicated to Straus that there was too much money for education.
Whether this can be resolved remains to be seen, but the Perry-Williams alliance is in control now, and the House is left out in the cold. It is too bad that Williams ended a magnificent session by sandbagging the deal, but no one should be surprised that this kind of thing can happen in the end game. The ultimate deal almost always turns out to be a two-against-one game, and right now, Perry and the Senate are looking like winners.