Yesterday I reported here that senior Senate GOP aides were convinced that the House GOP has completely run out of leverage in the battle over the payroll tax cut extension — and that House Republicans would ultimately have to cave.
Now Dana Bash reports that the frustration among Senate GOP operatives with how the House has botched the politics of this fight is hitting full boil. The message? You’re on your own:
Multiple Senate GOP sources told CNN that frustration with their counterparts in the House is mounting.
“The House Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. They are on their own,” a Senate GOP leadership aide told CNN.
“This is a lose — lose situation for us. They’ve let the Democrats get the messaging advantage and more specifically we’ve turned one of our key issues on its head. The Republicans look like they are the ones blocking tax relief,” said the Senate GOP leadership aide, who also called it “inexcusable.”...
...a second senior GOP Senate aide told CNN Republicans should be happy because they got several important concessions from Democrats, including one relating to the controversial Keystone Pipeline.
“The House Republicans pulled defeat from the jaws of victory,” said the senior GOP Senate aide.
These leaks are starting to seem deliberate: Senate GOP aides are sending a message to the House side that if they don’t pass the Senate short-term extension, they won’t be able to count on any help in getting themselves out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves. Have any GOP Senators come out and said anything supportive of what the House side is up to? Senator Mitch McConnell has been awfully quiet lately.
This, by the way, is another reason it’s getting less and less likely that Dems will drop their refusal to negotiate further until the House GOP passes the Senate proposal. Dems believe that the pressure on House Republicans from their own side is only going to mount, and that their political situation will continue deteriorating at an exponentially rapid pace.