Skip to main content

Last weekend, House Republicans passed a spending bill that would cut $61 billion dollars in domestic discretionary spending through the end of the fiscal year, which ends on September 30.

If you do the math, that works out to $61 billion in cuts over seven months—exactly $2 billion per week.

Yesterday, House Republicans proposed a "compromise" spending measure to avoid a federal shutdown. And what would that measure do?

A first installment of $4 billion in savings would be part of the deal now and Republicans have said they will insist on $2 billion more in cuts for each additional week the talks continue past the new deadline. The novel approach is one devised by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), trying to keep pace with his large freshman class while avoiding the same sort of shutdown that so hurt Republicans in the 1990’s when they confronted then President Bill Clinton.

In other words, the GOP compromise would require the exact same level of cuts that their spending bill requires. Nonetheless, for some reason, Senate Democrats are hailing this as a victory:

Senate Democrats indicated they would be willing to go along with the proposal despite their insistence earlier this week that any temporary measure should be free of spending reductions. They had portrayed such a maneuver as a back-door way for House Republicans to begin enacting $61 billion in cuts that have met objections in the Senate.

“We are encouraged to hear that Republicans are abandoning their demands for extreme measures like cuts to border security, cancer research and food safety inspectors,” said Jon Summers, a spokesman for Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader.


"They feared a government shutdown, and so they are adopting some of our suggestions on what to cut," said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate.

Schumer is basing his statement on the fact that the GOP stop-gap proposal includes many of the cuts proposed by Democrats, including elements of President Obama's FY2012 proposal. It would make sense if this is what Republicans were proposing for a long-term deal, but this is for the next two weeks.

Presumably when the two weeks are up, Schumer thinks Democrats will be in a stronger position to accuse Republicans of shutting down the government, because they will be able to say they already accepted some Republican cuts. But that seems a bit optimistic, to say the least. More likely, this deal will put Republicans in a stronger position to demand deep concessions from Democrats, because Democrats already will have given up some of their bargaining chips. Time will tell.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site