Fearing shutdown, GOP considering deal with Dems to fund government for two more weeks

posted at 9:45 pm on February 21, 2011 by Allahpundit

Remember, the budget saga began with Republicans vowing in the Pledge to America to cut $100 billion in discretionary non-defense spending. That’s a token cut — as noted many times here previously, the deficit this year alone will be 15 times that amount — but that was their promise. Then, last week, they backed off it when huge numbers of Republicans joined with Democrats to reject an amendment to add $22 billion in additional cuts to the current number of $60 billion. So the current number is even more token still. But because they’re not prepared to go to the mat even on that puny number, we’re going to swerve again to avoid a game of chicken with Democrats before funding runs out on March 4. Enter the temporary budget fix, which will provide new funds for two weeks to keep things running while they work out a deal for the rest of the year.

Question: What happens after two weeks if there’s still no deal? If Republicans are this terrified of being blamed for a shutdown, why shouldn’t Democrats drive the hardest bargain they can?

News of the negotiations comes a day after several Republican lawmakers indicated they might accept a short-term spending bill as long as it included at least some spending reductions and not necessarily the deeper cuts the House approved last weekend…

“Everyone knows that, no matter what the truth, we would be blamed [for a government shutdown], so it would be a dumb political move,” one House Republican leadership aide told CNN…

“If they send something over with cuts we could probably accept it,” said one Senate Democratic leadership aide…

Rep. Tim Scott. R-South Carolina, a Tea Party-backed freshman who was elected by his colleagues to serve as liaison to the House GOP leadership, told CNN Monday, “the time is short for the Senate to come up with on a long-term solution so we are prepared for a short term conversation on a short term [spending bill].”

Don’t count too heavily on that Democratic leadership aide in thinking that the Senate will accept a short fix with small cuts. Chuck Schumer told the Wall Street Journal that they want no cuts at all in the temporary bill, that Obama’s spending freeze should be good enough. Can’t say I blame him. Why not test the GOP’s mettle on this? They’ve already demoralized the base with last week’s vote. Why not try to force them to cave on the short-term bill and demoralize conservatives even further?

Mind you, this surreal debate about how small cuts should have to be comes in the context of a story in WaPo announcing that federal, state, and local debt now exceeds the total size of the economy. That’s happened before, after World War II, but some of that debt ended up being paid down by a young population during an age of economic growth. Now we’ve got the opposite problem — a lingering recession and an entitlement load from Baby Boomers from which there’s seemingly no escape. The ship is going down, yet even a sum as paltry as $60 billion in cuts is somehow so unimaginable that we need a two-week patch on the budget to give us extra time to weigh whether we should do it. We’re truly doomed.


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Comments

Goodbye GOP………..say hello to your predecessors the Whigs.

GOP /Whig “leadership?

What the heck happened to “young guns”?

What about all that sky is falling crap from Paul Ryan? If he REALLY REALLY meant it……he’d be pulling a “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” on the floor of the House!!

COMPLETELY DISGUSTED with the wretched GOP!!!

PappyD61 on February 22, 2011 at 6:39 AM

The GOP will betray you

True_King on February 22, 2011 at 6:43 AM

They’ve already demoralized the base with last week’s vote.

Wow…our base demoralizes easily. “Demoralized?”

If I was a GOP legislator, here are a few of the concerns I’d have about shutting down the government.
– Barack Obama is a popular guy. He’s very good at promising people goodies they don’t have to pay for. We don’t have a similar telegenic presence to put on TV to galvanize wavering Americans to our point of view. John Boehner? Paul Ryan? Nice guys and earnest public servants….but they don’t have the screen presence of Barack Obama. Especially when the MSM is too busy having sex with our president. (Bill Maher’s words…not mine).
– The MSM hates us like they hate no other. Expect ZERO balance from them in reporting. Obama will demagogue this issue, the GOP will explain what they’re doing…and the MSM will simply ignore our explanation.

Y’all make it sound much, much easier than it really is.

smagar on February 22, 2011 at 7:02 AM

whose demoralized? Look at Wisconsin, just winning the election is step one, step two is actually carrying out the policy changes, truly that is the hard part. Calm Down!

rob verdi on February 22, 2011 at 7:15 AM

I still don’t get it. Liberal Democrats, led by their ruler Obama, have been spending like crack addicts with stolen credit cards, yet the GOP is on the defensive?

olesparkie on February 22, 2011 at 7:56 AM

olesparkie on February 22, 2011 at 7:56 AM

they’ve got the LSM on their side pandering to their needs…

cmsinaz on February 22, 2011 at 8:01 AM

Time for a Conservative party…

golfer1 on February 22, 2011 at 8:04 AM

The House already passed a spending bill.

Their job is done.

If the Senate is a bunch of slackers and need a vacation to deal with their vapors, then guess who is to blame for not funding the government?

Can we find some people with even a primitive set of reflexes to send to DC, and get rid of the conditioned-reaction types? I’ve seen blades of grass with more backbone than these free floating cellular blobs glistening Upon the Hill…

ajacksonian on February 22, 2011 at 8:25 AM

ajacksonian on February 22, 2011 at 8:25 AM

but the gop won’t speak up so the lsm and the dems pin the blame on them anyway….

cmsinaz on February 22, 2011 at 8:27 AM

The world is crumbling because we cannot pay our bills. We need to cut spending to restore confidence otherwise our fiat currency really will become worthless overnight.

Food riots in the USA.

Angry Dumbo on February 22, 2011 at 8:52 AM

GOP:

Man up, stop and reverse this progressive, Utopian nonsense. If you are afraid a government shutdown will be demagogued by the Dems and you’ll lose seats in 2012, I have news for you, if you don’t cut, cut, cut, you’re going to lose seats in 2012, anyway. To people that will.

Your choice.

pugwriter on February 22, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Hey, I thought the R’s won in Nov. The dems act like they’re still in charge. Did we just see a big blink from Boehner and company? Maybe Walker should call him and tell him to man up.

Kissmygrits on February 22, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Still snake bit after all these years.

kens on February 22, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Republicans should constantly point out that the weasels in the Democratic party are bankrupting the country and have shut the government down in Wisconsin already. Cut now or cut later. Its better to do it now rather than wait until bankruptcy.If the Communists want to shut it down now, go home and let the savings begin early. The tax and steal Dimocrats won’t shut it down very long since they suck at the public teat.No government official should be paid a penny if they are all to incompetent to run the government in a responsible way; especially the president and the congress.

Marco on February 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM

The Repubs need a Speaker with some b@(($. The Dems figured out it doesn’t need to be a guy. I say to hell with Bawling Boehner. Lets put Balls to the Wall Bachman in and do to them what they did to us for the past 4 years. No regrets.

chickasaw42 on February 22, 2011 at 4:32 PM