Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee and, therefore, one of the people most responsible for developing a budget resolution.
The New York Times ran an editorial yesterday -- "Holding Firm on the Budget" -- that essentially tells the White House and congressional Democrats not to be afraid of a shutdown. It's a remarkable piece in the sense that it says a compromise that goes too far toward hurting the economy isn't a good idea. It also tells congressional Republicans that they will be blamed if a shutdown occurs.
What the editorial shows is that, less than a week after the two-week extension of the continuing resolution was enacted, the positions towards a shutdown may very well be hardening.
Here's the whole editorial.
Holding Firm on the Budget
Congressional Republicans vowed "never again" after the Andrews Air Force Base budget summit in 1990 because they felt that their leadership had given up too much too easily; we really haven't had a formal summit since then. My column from today's Roll Call explains why the House GOP in particular should be willing to consider it not just this year, but starting almost immediately.
Why Not Try a Summit Instead of a Shutdown?
By Stan Collender
Roll Call Contributing Writer
Enough threatening body language, vocal recriminations and political posturing over a possible government shutdown at the end of this week or later in March. They are nothing more than sideshows to the budget debate that really needs to be taking place.
I can't really fault former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) too much for his attempt in Friday's edition of The Washington Post to revise budget history to match his current political needs. After all, as a potential GOP presidential candidate in the tea party era, saying in an op-ed that you were for spending cuts before spending cuts were cool is the right thing to do even if it isn't true.
This is my first Roll Call column since the Obama fiscal 2012 budget was released last Tuesday. As the column shows, if you've focused on the small picture, as most have done since budget was sent to Congress, you missed the real story. The looming possibility of a government shutdown isn't the only way the debate that's happening this year is like what happened when Bill Clinton dueled with Newt Gingrich in 1995. Just think about current OMB Director Jack Lew, who was deputy director of OMB in 1995 and the person who managed the shutdown for the White House, and current National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, who was the deputy at the NEC dealing with the budget debate strategy, and ask yourself if focusing on what was propsed might be missing the budget forest for the trees.
1995 Federal Budget Debate Is Repeating Itself