Numerous GOP and Democratic sources on and off Capitol Hill tell National Journal that the outline of the deal is as follows: up to $39 billion in cuts from the 2010 budget, $514 billion in spending for the defense budget covering the remainder of this fiscal year, a GOP agreement to abandon controversial policy riders dealing with Planned Parenthood and the EPA, and an agreement to pass a “bridge” continuing resolution late Friday night to keep the government operating while the deal is written in bill form. – National Journal, Susan Davis and Dan Friedman
Chuck Todd on Rachel Maddow confirmed budget negotiators think they have a deal. Now it’s up to Speaker Boehner to sell it to his caucus, which evidently has happened, according to Chris Hayes, sitting in for Ed Schultz.
When Pres. Obama spoke he made a point to log another accomplishment, the “largest annual spending cut in our history… programs people rely on will be cut back…” Hey, but at least mil-billionaires were saved a tax increase.
There was no way Speaker Boehner was going to pull a Newt. Not in this political climate with all that’s at stake on the next budget as an election year looms. A strong partner for Boehner was Tea Party caucus leader, Rep. Michele Bachmann, with both helping Pres. Obama to “win the future” by agreeing to spending cuts that ended up being larger than what Paul Ryan wanted. Huge win for Republicans any way you look at it.
Pres. Obama isn’t as popular as he was and Boehner isn’t Newt, so the chances of getting hit as the blowback from a shutdown spreads is something he was also not willing to risk.
So, Democrats went from $33 billion to $38 billion, now to $39 billion, if reports are correct. Obviously Democrats didn’t want to go to $40 billion. Because if you’re selling stuff you don’t want a big round number; better to have $1.99 rather than $2.00.
That means those clever, tough-minded political masterminds in the Democratic Party paid $1 billion for Boehner to push the Tea Party conservatives to drop their objections to allow women to have access to health care coverage like pap smears and other lifesaving services.
Man those Democrats, they’re some bargainers.
As for Republicans and especially the Tea Party, they wrangled $39 billion out of Democrats who control the Senate and the White House. You’d think Democrats would have learned from health care, but then fumbling that cost them their majority in the House, so what’s a Democrat to do?
Fish in a barrel, baby, while Pres. Obama “hovers” until the last moment, to quote Marc Ambinder.
But Obama might not escape the blame after a series of fights like this one. Washington can be a blur to those who don’t live here. It’s harder for a president to hover above the fray, and Obama’s tone matters as much as his policies. He cannot simultaneously be aloof and engaged.
Obama probably had no choice but to intervene in the way he did. A government shutdown would damage the country. But his tactical decision was dictated by a strategic calculation made a long time ago: in 2010, the White House would not prioritize the passing of a budget without significant spending reductions. That was a fair move at the time: two wars, the fall-out of health care, a twitchy Democratic Congress, and the November elections”“these are enough to make any president wary of pushing an unpopular budget through a Congress controlled by his own party. Those choices echo loudly today.
No wonder we can’t get out of Afghanistan.