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March 01, 2011

Democrats: The Republicans' Two Week Long Continuing Resolution Will Probably Kill People With Its Cuts But Fine, We'll Vote For It

$2 Billion a week, 2 weeks at a time. Progress.

The House on Tuesday approved a stopgap measure that would keep the federal government funded through March 18 and cut $4 billion in spending by targeting programs that President Obama has already marked for elimination.

The proposal, which passed the House on a 335-to-91 vote, now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass easily. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Tuesday that it is likely to come to a vote in his chamber within 48 hours.

...House Democrats were divided on the measure: 104 Democrats backed it while 85 opposed it. Two members of Democratic leadership, Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.), voted yes; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn (S.C.) and Democratic Caucus Vice-Chairman Xavier Becerra (Calif.) voted against it.

Democrats have been talking big about a government shutdown and seemed to think it played into their hands, yet the first time they have a chance to make it happen, they fold.

Senate Democrats are in full retreat on the two week CR as well.

Reid said that Senate Democrats had made multiple suggestions to Republicans on a different way to proceed — they had proposed a 30-day measure — but that the GOP had rejected them.

...These are huge cuts,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy.

“The Army Corps and bureau is cut by $554 million, so what I’ve wanted to do is add some back to it,” Feinstein said of the House GOP’s two-week spending measure. “This is levy repair, this if you’ve got a dam that earthen that’s in trouble, it’s bridge repair.”

But Feinstein conceded that she might still vote for it.

“I would support the two-week CR that came over from the House if we could have some flexibility on this Army Corps of Engineers — maybe I’ll support it anyway,” she said.

Like many Democrats, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) doesn’t like the House GOP proposal, which terminates funding for programs that President Obama slated for elimination in his budget and cuts spending in programs ranging from science research to mine safety to special education.

But Mikulski doesn’t want to risk a government shutdown, an increasingly likely possibility if Senate Democrats were to reject the two-week spending resolution the House is expected to pass Tuesday.

I love that the GOP refused Reid's counter offer. They are controlling the agenda and the process. I'd say a 100+ House Democrats voting for any spending cuts and hardcore liberals like Reid, Feinstein and Mikulski are folding in the Senate.

It's a small victory in the opening skirmish of a long and protracted war (sorry for the "old tone') but success breeds success. For far too long the idea of cutting wasn't even on the table, it's going to take a while to change the default mindset but change it must.


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posted by DrewM. at 05:42 PM

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