As you hear about developments this week towards an agreement on FY2011 spending or a government shutdown, keep asking yourself these questions:
1. Can John Boehner convince his tea party members to vote for a deal with the White House?
2. If Boehner can't convince his tea party folks to support the deal, can he get them to understand/forgive his working with Democrats to get the CR passed and avoid a government shutdown?
3. Is there any way for Boehner to broker a deal with the White House that will pass the House that doesn't require him having to support it himself?
4. Will the White House and House Democrats allow Boehner to not support the deal or will they insist that he publicly declare his love and affection for it?
5. What price will House Democrats demand to vote with Boehner on the CR and provide the votes to pass it?
And then ask yourself the following questions about what happens next:
1. If Boehner compromises with the White House and the tea party doesn't like it, will a deal on the debt ceiling become more difficult because Boeh
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.