* From a freshly minted Chicago Tribune editorial on last Wednesday’s grand bargain collapse…
What will Rauner and the GOP members of the Senate propose that will hit the sweet spot of satisfying recalcitrant Republicans and bringing Democrats back to the table? Because try as some in the GOP might, they cannot solve the budget impasse, or any of the state’s severe problems, without Democratic support.
Republicans derailed the package last week. This is theirs to fix.
A recap: The fragile budget compromise in the Senate, which includes a dozen bills strung together and an income tax hike, collapsed when Republican senators backed away. They abandoned their leader, Sen. Christine Radogno, who had negotiated the compromise with Senate President John Cullerton.
Rauner, along with the right-leaning Illinois Policy Institute and its allies who want more pro-business, pro-growth reforms in the deal, began pressing to stall it. Senate Republicans who supported the compromise were threatened with potential primary opponents in 2018, a strong-arm tactic not unlike those employed by House Speaker Michael Madigan. Republicans routinely accuse Madigan of using his clout and war chest to leverage cooperation from incumbents. Cross him and there’s a price to pay.
It’s the circular dysfunction of a small-D democratic government in Illinois: The self-serving calculus of re-election always seems to eclipse attempts at problem-solving. This time, it was Republicans playing on clout, threats and leverage.
A bit harsh, which is even weirder considering the source.