Driving the Day: Senate Concedes, This Time (UPDATE)
This morning, at 11am, the Senate will vote on a two-week funding measure passed by the House yesterday. The measure, which cuts $4 billion in spending, will avoid a government “shutdown.” It will also give Congressional negotiators until March 18th to come to terms on H.R.1, the House-passed fund measure that would cut $61 billion.
Early indications are that Senate Democrats will not be so willing to accept cuts next time around. According to The Hill, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) said, “The real battle is to come with the next, the long-term [spending resolution], the next time. That’s going to be the battleground.”
Interestingly, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said yesterday that the White House “believe[s] that if $4 billion in cuts over two weeks is acceptable, that the $8 billion over four or five weeks is something that we could agree on.”
The logical question is: if they agree with that level of cuts, why did they issue a veto threat against the House-passed $61 billion in cuts? On a monthly basis, that is about $8.7 billion. The onus is now on the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to accept these simple cuts, fund the government and take a small first step toward correcting their serious mismanagement.
UPDATE: Speaker Boehner this morning will address the Credit Union National Association conference, where he will criticize Leader Reid: ‘It has now been 11 days since the House passed a bill to cut spending and keep the government running through September. The bill we passed contains billions in spending cuts needed to create a better environment for job creation. … Unfortunately, Senator Reid still hasn’t taken action on this, or any other bill to keep the government running. Yesterday, we passed a second bill that cuts spending and keeps the government open. We’ve done this to give Senator Reid another two weeks to heed the will of the people and take up the bill the House passed 11 days ago. I’m not sure whether Senator Reid has a plan to cut spending and keep the government running. If he does, I think the American people would be interested in seeing it. If he doesn’t, I think he owes the American people an explanation.” (via Playbook)