Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 15, 2011

HOUSE OVERCOMES GOP BLUSTER, PASSES BUDGET EXTENSION.... House leaders faced a fairly credible threat of a far-right revolt, but this afternoon, it was easily overcome.

The House voted 271-158 Tuesday afternoon in favor of a three-week stopgap spending measure that would keep the government funded through April 8.

The Senate is expected to pass the continuing resolution, which includes $6 billion in cuts to the federal budget, before the end of the week.

Some conservative House Republicans had pledged to vote against the measure, saying it does not make enough cuts and does not include social-issue riders some had wanted.

When the roll was called, 54 House Republicans broke ranks and opposed the compromise plan presented by their own GOP leadership. In theory, that would have been enough to kill the three-week extension, but 85 House Democrats supported the measure that prevents a shutdown.

Yes, it is rather odd when Boehner, Cantor & Co. count on House Dems to save the day.

Senate passage appears all-but assured, and President Obama will promptly sign the extension into law. It will leave policymakers just three weeks to figure out a deal for the rest of the fiscal year -- the new deadline will be 23 days from today.

Time will tell how this plays out, but I'm not at all optimistic. Jonathan Bernstein suggested this afternoon that the likelihood of a government shutdown is now greater than 80%, and I'm very much inclined to agree.

Plenty of congressional Republicans have been willing to go along with these two temporary extensions ("continuing resolutions," in the parlance) just so long as they were consistent with their arbitrary spending-cut targets. Cuts of $2 billion a week meant the GOP was largely happy, even if they weren't the party's preferred cuts, and since the reductions came from Democratic proposals, bipartisan support wasn't too terribly difficult.

That's over now. Rank-and-file Republicans have said they'll tolerate no more extensions, and as best as I can tell, Dems don't want any more, either. Republicans have also said they won't budge from their cut targets, no matter how much damage it does to the economy, while Democrats insist the GOP goals are a non-starter.

What's more, the trick that has worked so far -- Republicans simply adopting Democratic cuts as their own to meet the arbitrary target -- isn't a credible option anymore. The GOP has picked the easy stuff -- Dems don't have $54 billion in additional cuts lying around -- and in the process has left Dems with even few tolerable cuts to offer in the next round of negotiations.

And just to make things even more interesting, the Senate will be off next week, which will, at a minimum, slow discussions down.

The House helped buy some time today, but I fear the lower chamber has delayed the inevitable.

Steve Benen 4:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (12)

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Comments

This morning's ABC poll scared them to death.

Posted by: jjm on March 15, 2011 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Talk about spineless creatures!

It is that time to put a budget together that promotes our common welfare, promotes domestic tranquility and provides for the common defense!

Quite dicking around, Congress Tea Baggers, and fund our government to the level that provides for all our citizens, not just the top 2%.

Anything less than spending at appropriate levels (fully fund the programs and policies already up and running, and raise revenue on the top 2% by reinstating the old tax rate of 39%!

There, done, without the tea bagging drama! -Kevo

P.S. Though it is probably permanently off the table, just by invoking a transaction levy of 1/8 of a cent for every share traded on our exchanges would allow for a wholesome budget, funding all that we need, and a lowering of all income tax rates!

But, there are some among us who don't see the legitimate role of government as provider of public services, and are not entertaining any sustainable revenue policies - only trying to starve our government to death!

Posted by: kevo on March 15, 2011 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, fine. We'll run the government like adults this one last time -- and that's IT! We were sent here to un-govern the country, not govern it. We just need to keep the lights on while we figure out how to do that ... and then ... uh ... hey! Look over there! The Ismlamofascist-communist-Soros-backed boogey man non-issue of the week!

Posted by: ManOutOfTime on March 15, 2011 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

They're going to extract all the ransom they can and then kill the hostage anyway, so just make them bloody do it already and don't give them another single thing. Fuck these morons. Let the American people get what they voted for. And to paraphrase Mencken, let them get it good and hard.

Posted by: Realist on March 15, 2011 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK
Senate passage appears all-but assured, and President Obama will promptly sign the extension into law. It will leave policymakers just three weeks to figure out a deal for the rest of the fiscal year -- the new deadline will be 23 days from today.

More likely, it seems, it will leave just three weeks to figure out a deal for the next three week continuing resolution.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 15, 2011 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

screw them. The polls show the public will blame the TeaPartyGOP..shut it down. Maybe the public will resent the fact that their well-being and jobs are being hijacked by a fifth of the voting population.

Posted by: T2 on March 15, 2011 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Why are defense cuts not a part of this process? I've lost track of that issue.

Posted by: Wayne on March 15, 2011 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

If I am following the drift of the matter the matter of trimming , hacking at the budget is over now .
So the Democrats have offered all they can in any form of conscience to the altar of tee baggeuritus and its god , blind machete .
Wishing it was less stupid , clumsy , hubris , sexy time posing for the show .
Wishing it was more sensible , truth and fact based .

Posted by: FRP on March 15, 2011 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Where's the extension that raises taxes to pay for government programs and services? Especially raised on the wealthy? Until these mother-fuckers start talking about that I don't want to hear from any of them, least of all the commander in cheap. Leaders my ass!

(there, that's better)

Posted by: Trollop on March 15, 2011 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Listen up MORONS...you don't get to GO on vacation. We give those to people who actually WORK. If you 'worked' in the private sector (you know the one you want to turn the country over to) like you do in the public sector, your ass would be OUT!

Posted by: SYSPROG on March 15, 2011 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Watching the Republicans hold the entire country hostage reminds me of that classic scene in where Eddie Murphy holds a gun to his head and threatens to kill himself in order to escape from the police ("Trading Places"?).

"Give me everything I want that will destroy the country over the long-term or I'll destroy the country in the short-term!"

Posted by: Kiweagle on March 15, 2011 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone see the mugshots on Talking Points Memor of the crime family the FBI busted?

Could pass for teabaggers any day.

Posted by: jjm on March 15, 2011 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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