Already, some Senate conservatives are moving against the proposal, which Murray and Ryan say would provide sequester relief by increasing spending by $63 billion over the next two years, but offsetting that increase with $86 billion in new spending cuts and revenues over the next decade. For example, Rand Paul:
“Senator Paul will oppose the reported cap busting deal,” Doug Stafford, Paul’s senior adviser, told POLITICO on Wednesday. “He opposes increasing spending and undoing the minimal sequester cuts in current law, which weren’t even close to enough to begin with.”And Sen. Mike Crapo, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said:
“It doesn’t appear to be something I will likely support,” Crapo said. “It’s pretty light on entitlement reform and the entitlement reform that’s done is not structural. It doesn’t do anything to actually change or fix that. We’re looking now to see if it can pass the Congress.”But even if Senate Republicans don't provide much support for the deal, history suggests it can still pass the Senate because it has the support of Senate leadership and President Obama. The real question is whether Republicans will be able to get it through the House without Democratic help, and whether House Democrats will provide that help if Republicans ask for it.
Yesterday, Ryan said he expected conservatives would support the deal, pointing out that its spending levels are lower than the ones contained in the budget that House Republicans passed last year. And this morning, House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor appeared at a press conference with Ryan to demonstrate their support for the deal—and to try suggest that if Republicans pass it, it will allow them to pivot their focus back to Obamacare instead of dealing with another fiscal crisis.
The one thing we do know is that whether or not this deal passes, a huge economic issue remains unresolved: Extending emergency unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans. Whatever Congress does with the budget, there's no excuse for cutting unemployment insurance now, especially in the middle of the holiday season.
8:21 AM PT: Here's more on how Boehner is pushing back against right-wing criticism of the budget deal. Also, other GOP senators opposing the deal include John Barrasso of Wyoming, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.