Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
AP is reporting that congressional leaders and the White House are working on a compromise budget plan that would cut $33 billion in spending. I'm a little surprised that John Boehner might be on board with this, since I figure he has to allow a government shutdown before eventually compromising if he wants to retain any credibility at all with the tea party wing of the GOP. But maybe he's decided that going through with the shutdown kabuki is pointless because the tea partiers are uncompromising zealots who can't be appeased no matter what. If that's the case, then the $33 billion figure is no big surprise.
A Democratic lawmaker familiar with a meeting Wednesday between Obama and members of the Congressional Black Caucus said the administration made it clear that some House GOP proposals restricting the Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory powers would have to make it into the final bill....It's not clear which proposals the White House might accept, but those backed by Republicans would block the government from carrying out regulations on greenhouse gases, putting in place a plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and from shutting down mountaintop mines it believes will cause too much water pollution.
These kinds of leaks often turn out to be mistaken in one way or another, so it's probably best not to panic yet. On the other hand, it's notable that Obama barely even mentioned climate change or greenhouse gases in his big energy speech today. This concession to Republicans on the EPA would jibe with that, and if it's true it would mean that Obama has essentially given up completely on anything other than token action to address global warming. That should sure get the base amped up for 2012, shouldn't it?