Since House Republicans have steadfastly refused to pass a FY2014 budget—mostly on the peculiar grounds that if they did, it would force them to open negotiations with the Senate and run the risk of, um, negotiating—the only way to keep the government running for the next few months is via a short-term stopgap called a Continuing Resolution. So that’s where all the budget action is right now. What will be in the CR? Jonathan Cohn gives us a peek at where we stand right now:
The White House, in its 2014 budget, called for spending levels of $1.058 trillion during the next fiscal year….Senate Democrats passed a similar proposal. The original House Republican budget, the one crafted by Paul Ryan, sought $967 billion in total spending.
This new House Republican proposal calls for spending levels of $988 billion. As Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, says, “That number is intolerable…. Why is the compromise between $1058 billion for the Senate, $1058 billion for the White House, and 967 for the House $988 billion?”….And it’s even less of a compromise than it seems at first blush. The extra spending in the new House proposal—the difference between the $967 billion in the original budget and the $988 billion in the new one—is almost entirely in additional defense spending.
….For the proposal to become law, Senate Democrats would have to approve it. So would Obama….Precisely because the proposal would extend only through December, they seem less likely to fight it, as Salon’s Brian Beutler and MSNBC’s Suzy Khimm have noted….The danger, of course, is that undoing the cuts will be even more difficult if they’ve been in place for another two-and-a-half months.
The House Republican caucus may be crazy and its leadership may be weak. But they’re laying the foundation for a debate that will end with spending cuts that further weaken the economic recovery—and continue to undermine vital government services.
Hooray! Liberals are getting ready to cave in without a fight yet again. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it?