Tuesday, February 22, 2011

House Republicans and Senate Democrats cooking up compromise to avoid a shutdown

I swear, I don't think there is a complete pair of balls in the entire Republican leadership.  Can someone please explain the logic or necessity behind this?
CNN: Washington (CNN) - With funding for the federal government set to expire in less than two weeks, Senate Democrats and House Republicans are in discussions to avoid a government shutdown, a Senate Democratic leadership source told CNN.
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.
Let me see if I can understand this.  The Republicans promise $100 billion in spending cuts in order to get elected.  Once elected, they chicken out and can only come up with $60 billion. Now with $60 billion on the table, they are willing to do less for a mere extension?  At this point I have to ask, why even bother cutting at all?
To make matters worse, even some of the new TEA Party Republicans are losing their testicular fortitude.
CNN has learned House Republican leaders are pushing them [conservative freshmen] to accept only modest cuts in the short-term to avoid a government shutdown. They've made the pitch in staff-level discussions, one-on-one meetings between leaders and freshman lawmakers, and a group meeting Friday with more than 70 freshman Republicans and Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy, according to two freshmen who were there.
It appears the hard sell is working.
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]."
Another Tea Party-backed freshman, Rep. Raul Labrador. R-Idaho, said he is on board, but only to a point.
"After one or two short term [spending bills] you do start losing some freshman, and I'm one of them," Labrador said. "We can't continue to fund government at this rate. The reason we came to Washington, DC is to let people know we want stability back in the system. You can't legislate by short term spending bills."
This is completely unnecessary. Let the shutdown happen. Then we can finally have the knock down drag out debate over whether or not we need to cut back or spend ourselves into oblivion. Judging from the early poll results in Wisconsin, I say this is a debate the GOP need not fear.
Via: CNN

4 comments:

Nick Rowe said...

Part of the $100 billion gaffe is that when they made the promise, they didn't consider that legislation takes time. Even if they had strong support in both chambers and the willingness of the President to sign, they couldn't get to $100B. If they achieved cuts of about $75 billion, it would be an annualized cut of about $100 billion.

Unfortunately, that's not how they sold the proposal. They should have been more careful about the accounting of their intentions.

$60 billion in cuts is a drop in the bucket, but if we can cut it, then cut it. Take all tricks off the top. My analogy is digging a tunnel through a mountain. If all you've got is hand tools, it's going to take some time. But when you get dynamite, it will go a bit faster.

In 2012 when Republicans have taken back the Senate and, I hope, the White House, they can begin to tackle the main culprits of our budget problem: long-term obligations under entitlement programs.

We've actually got Obama talking about Social Security reform which is a major miracle, and he agreed to cut the payroll tax for a year. I remember when that issue was the "third rail" of American politics.

Janelle said...

Downsizing the Departments of Education and Energy wouldn't hurt either. Cut them by 3/4's. Neither has been at all effective.

Clifton B said...

Nick Rowe:

I know Republicans got into trouble because of timing. However, since $100 billion is so tiny in comparison to what is left of the CR, they still should have cut it. Even if they had to temporarily cut stuff they like.

If Republicans want both branches, they are going to have to make a better show of it. Sticking to their guns now will make it easier to campaign later.

Clifton B said...

Janelle:

They can completely erase the Dept of Ed. Totally unnecessary. Since we still do not have an effective energy policy, the Dept of Energy looks pretty unnecessary too.

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