09 April, 2011

Shutdown Averted

Ok, first the bad. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-08) agreed to a mere $39 billion in cuts. That’s about 1%. Or about 2.8% of the deficit. Symbolic, at best.
Ok, now that’s out of the way. Let’s talk about the good.
Despite controlling only 1/2 of one branch of the government, the GOP was able to achieve the first actual spending cuts in modern history. And did it despite the biggest spending President and Senate this country has ever seen.
The Corner has a couple nice quotes for us.
Harry Reid, Feb. 3, 2011, on Paul Ryan’s initial offer of $32 billion in spending cuts:
The chairman of the Budget Committee today, today sent us something even more draconian than we originally anticipated…So this isn’t some game that people have been playing. The House of Representatives [is] actually sending us some of these unworkable plans.
Harry Reid, April 9, 2011, on a deal to cut $38.5 billion:
This is historic, what we’ve done.
Yes, this is a drop in the bucket. But it’s the first drop in our bucket we’ve ever gotten. I believe that Boehner got the best deal he was going to get. Shutdown or no. We have a Keynesian socialist President, who is either incapable of seeing the crisis in front of us, or does see it and honestly doesn’t care. Every financial battle against him is going to go like this. We’re going to have to push him to the brink and settle for the tiniest of cuts.
But we’re setting the table for 2013, when hopefully someone more reasonable will be in office. And the GOP is keeping its promise to push as hard as they can. Victories are going to be small and far between. For now, we’re going to have to be happy with the ones we get, as long as there is reason to believe we took it as far as we could.
But we also got some more things.
Our military will receive their paychecks. That’s good. Not sure how you feel, but I find slavery somewhat abhorrent. Apparently the President feels differently.
The D.C. school voucher program has been restored. This is a huge win for Boehner.
Funding for Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare will receive an up or down vote on the Senate floor. ObamaCare defunding has no chance of passage, but it’s not out of the question that PP defunding could get to 51 votes. It’s a stretch, but not an unbelievable one. There are several vulnerable Democrats who are not going to want to go on the record on this issue.
Remember, the one cut proposal we got from the Dems prior today was for $4 billion in cuts. And passage of that looked unlikely. The Democrats are totally unserious about the financial state of this country.
Next big battle: raising the debt ceiling. We’ll hit it in about 5 weeks, so round 2 is coming up fast.
One question though. How did the Senate vote first on the CR? I thought funding bills started in the House? Was our shutdown avoidance unconstitutional?
UPDATE: Some good points at HotAir:
We’ll see who won in September, but Republicans have achieved one major accomplishment.  Not only did they force the first actual reductions in government spending in ages, but they have changed the political paradigm from whether to cut to how much and where to cut.  That’s a pretty impressive victory for a party that only controls one chamber of Congress.
Update: One last point along these lines.  Democrats have spent the last four months arguing that Republicans were too radical to govern and wanted to destroy government.  Instead, Republicans fashioned a deal on their own terms and passed a budget deal — something Democrats couldn’t or wouldn’t do when they had all the power in DC.  This gives the GOP a lot of credibility on leadership and governance, and all of it at the expense of Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

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