March Madness Turns to April Ridiculousness in Washington

Posted by By at 7 April, at 11 : 31 AM Print


One look at the high political drama playing out at the Nation’s Capitol, and forget about love is in the air, and spring is everywhere, especially if you plan to visit a national park or wind your way through Washington’s Cherry Blossoms, and take in the annual parade; that, and more hangs in the balance of a budget impasse.

Congress has until midnight Friday to get a spending plan in place, only a Vegas bookie will soak up those odds. The Republicans intend to hold a vote in the House on Thursday to try to pass a one-week extension. President Barack Obama and House Democrats are less than enthralled with House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio)thought that something is better than nothing.

President Obama, thinking that an agreement was in hand on Wednesday, carried on with his travel plans outside the beltway, only to realize later the shot clock is still running. Obama said the Republicans need to stop dragging their feet, and Boehner said there are just too many differences.

“Its going to require a sufficient sense of urgency,” Obama said, “to complete a deal and it passed and avert a shutdown.”

The Republicans short term fix measure entails a bigger cut to domestic programs that would mix in the Pentagon’s budget for a year. Democrats want to focus on a full year spending measure.

Following a marathon late night meeting with the president, Boehner put it this way, “we did have a productive conversation this evening. We do have some honest differences, but I do think we made some progress. There’s an attempt on both sides to continue to work together to try to resolve this.”

Democrats are fuming over the plan to hold a vote on Thursday. Senate Democrats characterize a short-term budget as a non-starter. Passage of a short-term spending bill will fall on Democratic-controlled Senate, and since it would be the last to hold the ball, it will get the blame for a shutdown.

Boehner, speaking on television said that he is supportive of tea partiers, which have engineered a wedge making it strategically difficult to find a compromise. Tea Party candidates have demanded larger cuts.

“Listen, there is no daylight between the tea party and me,” Boehner said. “What they want is, they want us to cut spending. They want us to deal with this crushing debt that’s going to crush the future of our kids and grandkids. There’s no daylight there.”

Sudden death overtime for a budget is something this country can truly live without.


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