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March 12, 2013

For Those Of You Who Wanted A Government Shutdown...You're Not Getting One

First, let me try and avoid some confusion. The post below was about competing budget plans for the government's 2014 fiscal year (which begins on October 1, 2013). Before they can fully focus on that, they have to finish the fiscal year 2013 spending plan via a Continuing Resolution. This year's fiscal year began on October 1, 2012 and Congress only passed a 6 month version that is due to expire at the end of this month.

At one point conservatives had thought the CR fight would be a pressure point to deal with either a debt ceiling hike, entitlement reform, sequestration and maybe even ObamaCare (conservatives didn't want to fund it).

None of that is happening.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) have signed off on the measure, which will be debated on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

“We must prevent a government shutdown,” said Mikulski. “My Vice Chairman, Senator Shelby, and I worked together on this bipartisan agreement that avoids a shutdown, complies with the Budget Control Act, improves the House CR for many critical priorities, and lets us wrap up fiscal year 2013 so we can get to next year’s budget and find a balanced solution to sequester.”

"At a time when many doubt whether Congress can accomplish anything at all, this agreement is a very clear demonstration of our commitment to work together," Shelby said.


The deal does not contain any provisions not already agreed to behind closed doors by House Republican appropriators, aides said.

So for all the drama and cliffs, what we basically got was $85 billion in cuts this year in exchange for a $1 trillion hike in the debt ceiling back in 2011. Yes, the sequestration cuts are suppose to be continued into the out years but basically the dueling 2014 budget resolutions covered below reset the conversation.

This is why out-year discretionary cuts are for suckers. Everything begins anew with each fiscal year budget. The only true and meaningful savings are reforms of entitlements, which are the real drivers of our fiscal problems. Evidence has shown, that's simply not on the menu.

I don't want to find a hill to die on. I want the GOP to find one to fight on. If they aren't going to do that because they are outgunned, then stop promising to fight. I guess when you look at everything from the fiscal cliff to debt ceiling to the CR, that's what they've done...waged one long retreat.

The next hill is the debt ceiling in the middle of May. I'm sure they'll make a stand there. Aren't you?

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posted by DrewM. at 12:29 PM

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