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April 05, 2011

Boehner Rejects Democratic Accounting Gimmicks, Prepares Another CR

Speaker Boehner says the Democrats' offer of $33 billion in cuts isn't enough and is mostly accounting gimmicks anyway.

“Despite attempts by Democrats to lock in a number among themselves, I’ve made clear that their $33 billion is not enough and many of the cuts that the White House and Senate Democrats are talking about are full of smoke and mirrors. That’s unacceptable,” Boehner said in a statement.

In a coordinated move, Boehner and the entire House Republican leadership team, including the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Hal Rogers (Ky.), issued statements indicating that an agreement to fund the federal government beyond Friday’s deadline was not close at hand.

At today's down-to-the-wire meeting with the President, Boehner plans to offer a military budget for the rest of the year and another short-term CR to fund the rest of the federal government for another week. A military budget is becoming more important and a likely get from a President who started a war of choice and yet will have no means to pay military service members starting next week. Another CR seems questionable, which explains why the House GOP is distributing a shut-down plan this morning. The Administration responded by finally allowing federal agencies to share their shutdown plans with federal employees.

Boehner's price for the military budget and another week-long CR will be $12 billion in cuts plus an abortion-funding ban in the District of Columbia.

What is the President bringing to today's meeting? Only his winning personality, so far as anyone knows. Why he chose two days before the deadline to insert himself into the budget debate is a matter for speculation. For my money, somebody told him that he better start looking presidential now that his reelection campaign is officially under way. As Reince Priebus says, Hope isn't hiring.

Whatever the case, Congress won't be getting around to Rep. Ryan's mega-cutting FY2012 budget until the rump FY2011 funding is dealt with. Anyone think that's going to actually happen this week? Don't forget, Senate Democrats (plus Liza Markonski, Scott Brown, and Susan Collins) are threatening to filibuster any budget that attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. On the other hand, with a genuine long-term reform plan on the table, maybe the fractured Senate GOP (I'm looking at you too, Senator DeMint) will get its act together.

Rep. Ryan will hold a presser today at 10:30 a.m. to introduce his budget.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:28 AM

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