Remember, Speaker Boehner's crew has already passed a full 2011 Continuing Resolution, which was flatly rejected by the Democrat-controlled Senate (the majority also failed to pass its own meager proposal by an even larger margin of defeat). The parties did agree to pass Republicans' two-week stopgap measure -- but with that short fix getting nearing expiration, the House is springing into action yet again to prevent a shut down:
House Republican appropriators are drafting a three-week measure that cuts another $6 billion in spending this year.
The precise cuts in the continuing resolution, which is to be unveiled Friday, have not been detailed.
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) said there has been pressure from some House members to include riders in the short-term bill that would, for example, defund public broadcasting or Planned Parenthood, but the committee is not focusing on that at this time.
"It will be a relatively clean bill, I imagine," Simpson said. He cautioned he had not seen the draft.
If Congress continues to play this game of funding the federal government in piecemeal fits and starts, Republicans will eventually run out of "clean" cuts. At some point, they'll actually have to put forth a short-term CR that controversially slashes funding to Planned Parenthood, NPR, EPA, etc. Democrats will object, and a government shutdown may ensue.
Despite the president's utter lack of leadership, Harry Reid's foibles, and publicopinion (62 percent of voters say the GOP's proposed $61 billion in cuts is either on target, or doesn't cut enough), the mainstream media and liberals (I repeat myself) appear prepared to blame the gridlock on Republican intransigence and cold-heartedness.
The Media - "Objective" news source Politico is hitting Republicans for their "fanatical" commitment to budget cuts. Jim Geraghty puts that "fanaticism" into proper context:
The GOP cuts that Obama is saying are too much are roughly equal to one-fifth of our national deficit for the month of February.
Liberals - You take it from here, Nancy:
Ah, yes. Republicans oppose "the Biblical power to cure." Demagoguery 101. As Ed Morrissey quips, where's the separation of church and state when you need it?