With the Countdown To Shutdown Clock now at seven days, there could be some reason for optimism today in Congress, as both parties get ready to unveil plans to avoid a government shutdown.
It’s expected that Republicans in the House today will unveil a plan to extend the current temporary federal budget for a few weeks, with several billion dollars in budget cuts attached.
While Democrats have denounced those budget cutting ideas, there was talk in the halls of the Capitol yesterday that Senate Democrats might be ready to pony up some budget cuts of their own, also before the weekend begins.
And indications are that Democrats are looking more long term, rather than a 30 day proposal – as maybe the seeds of a deal could be brewing here.
The cutback details – on both sides – should prove interesting, especially if the cuts selected are more of a message than something that the other side might accept.
In the meantime, this budget fight continues to be a long distance war of words that’s being waged through written statements and internet postings, as Congress doesn’t return to work until next week.
“Less than 90 days into the job, House Republicans seem more interested in shutting down the government than showing the leadership necessary create jobs and help the economy recover,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).
Durbin repeated the Democratic Party line that they have already cut $41 billion and that Republicans want to take that too far.
Remember – that $41 billion figure is a fake. Just like when Republicans said their budget plan cut $100 billion, the Democrats are comparing the current temporary budget to President Obama’s budget plan from a year ago, which was never enacted.
“Who is listening to the American people? Not Senate Democrats,” fired back Speaker John Boehner’s office, as Republicans accused Democrats of “rooting for a government shutdown” in order to try to take political advantage.
Will anyone blink? That’s the real question at this point.
Maybe we’ll have an old-fashioned compromise – Democrats accept some cuts and Republicans accept less in cutbacks than what they approved last week in the House.
Like Mister Rogers said, “Compromise – where each side gives up something and neither side is happy.”
Or something like that.
Tick, tick, tick.