Didn’t Obama already rule out any new short-term budget resolutions? Why, I believe he did. So here’s Boehner playing hardball with slightly more than 48 hours to go before the shutdown: Either O can change his mind by agreeing to it and sparing America the post-apocalyptic ordeal of a week or two without nonessential federal employees, or he can dig in and let the sky fall over $12 billion — which is less than the amount added to the deficit in two days during February.
House Republicans will vote Thursday on a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running for another week while cutting $12 billion, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Wednesday.
The move sets up a confrontation with Senate Democrats and the White House as negotiators struggle to complete a budget agreement in time to avert a government shutdown this weekend. Democrats are opposed to the latest GOP measure, which would also fund the military for the remainder of the fiscal year…
“Republicans have no interest in shutting down the government,” an exasperated Boehner declared at the conclusion of his press conference. “Shutting down the government I think is irresponsible and I think it will end up costing the American taxpayers more money than we’re already spending.”
Said The One in Pennsylvania today, “It makes it tough to win the future when you haven’t passed the budget from last year,” which raises the question of why Pelosi and Hoyer didn’t give a rip about winning the future when they declined to pass a budget of their own last summer. He’s called Reid and Boehner to the White House for another emergency meeting tonight at 8:45 p.m. to discuss “the CR.” I take it that means Boehner’s new short-term proposal, not the overarching negotiations to fund the government for the rest of the year. Hmmm.
Boehner met with the caucus earlier this afternoon to update them on negotiations and things ended, er … predictably. Exit question: Aren’t tea partiers also opposed to any new short-term budget resolutions? Or will they reverse course too and side with Boehner on this one just because getting Obama and Reid to cave would be a moral victory?
Update: I guess this answers the exit question. From Pence’s office:
While I am frustrated that liberals in the Senate continue to resist our efforts to include even modest cuts in this year’s budget, I will support a one-week Continuing Resolution because the troops come first. H.R. 1363 will fully fund the Department of Defense for the rest of this fiscal year and will reduce spending by $12 billion.