Is it possible there could be a government shutdown fight in the coming weeks despite the fact that Republicans and Democrats recently agreed on a funding figure for the coming fiscal year?
GOP leaders say today that House Speaker John Boehner is prepared for another round of brinksmanship and is prepared to renege on the budget deal that the parties struck during the debt limit fight last month.
House Republicans confirmed that they had been actively considering a plan to tamper with the August budget agreement by cutting even more from 2012 spending in order to put pressure on Senate Democrats to come to terms faster on domestic bills for the coming fiscal year.
Politico reports, “Instead of the agreed-upon appropriations target of $1.043 trillion, a stopgap continuing resolution or CR this week would be calibrated at a lower $1.035 trillion level. The idea — promoted by Speaker John Boehner — was to effectively withhold about $8 billion for the first two months of the fiscal year, with the money becoming available only as Senate Democrats come to terms with the House on the dozen annual spending bills that cover government operations.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has argued that Congress should appropriate $1.043 trillion for the coming fiscal year, potentially putting him at odds with Speak Boehner.
Congress will have to temporarily extend all government funding in the next two weeks, and that temporary funding measure would be the Republicans’ vehicle for sequestering those billions of dollars.
For Senate Democrats, tampering with the August budget agreement is seen as a needless provocation. Where this mess could lead is even less certain.
Courtesy of Talking Points Memo