Earlier today, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said he was optimistic that Democrats and Republicans could work together and achieve a bipartisan long-term funding bill to prevent a government shutdown. He didn't make any promises, but it was nice to hear an expression of confidence from Congressional leadership that we'll avoid the chaos of a federal closure.
Unfortunately, the Republican response was to deny that any progress has been made. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor issued a wet blanket of a statement reading:
Senator Schumer's comments this morning that the negotiations on a long term solution to fund the government for the remainder of the year are going well are completely farfetched. Leader Reid, Senator Schumer and the White House continue to abandon their responsibility to get our fiscal house in order by negotiating off of the status quo and refusing to offer any sort of serious plan for how to cut spending. House Republicans continue to offer serious solutions to get our fiscal House in order, but we cannot keep doing it alone. If Senators Reid and Schumer insist on shutting down the government because they want to protect every last dollar and cent of federal spending then that will be on their hands.
I don't know what's crazier, the idea that people will blame Democrats if Republicans shut down the federal government or the idea that Republicans have proposed a serious long-term plan to get our fiscal house in order. Whichever it is, one thing is clear: ultimately, Republicans are going to need to come to their senses and agree to compromise in order to move the country forward. The more quickly they do so, the less damage they'll cause. For the sake of the economy, Cantor should quit posturing. It's time to get a deal done.