Bush's selling job

October 01, 1990

The Herculean labors of the budget negotiators are over now, but President Bush's labors are just beginning. Whether the historic agreement on budget reduction reached yesterday between White House and Congressional leaders can now be put into effect depends on whether President Bush can now deliver his own party's support when that negotiated package comes to vote in Congress.

And an ominous sign it was that Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia, the second-ranking House Republican leader and a member of the negotiating team, was so dissatisfied with the package of tax increases and spending cuts that he refused to appear on the same platform with President Bush in announcing the accord.

But appearing is one thing and voting is another, and if Gingrich thinks he can get away with voting against the budget package, then the man is simply not in touch with reality. The Democrats are not about to give the Gingrich gang a free ride on the most painful revenue increases and spending cuts ever enacted so that Republicans can continue to run against the Democrats as the "tax and spend party."

In practical terms it is absolutely essential that President Bush deliver at least half of the Republican votes in Congress -- in both the House and the Senate -- for the budget package. And eventually that will include Newt Gingrich recording his own personal vote for new taxes.

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