Has A Tentative 2011 Budget Deal Been Struck?

Posted: Mar 30, 2011 11:58 PM
We don't really know, frankly.  There are a lot of moving parts to this story, but here's a report/rumor/development from ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, published earlier this evening:

Sources tell me that  budget negotiators on Capitol Hill have tentatively agreed on a deal that would involve at least $33 billion in spending cuts from this year’s budget.  That’s $23 billion dollars more than Democrats have previously agreed to in short-term continuing resolutions, and $28 billion less than Republicans previously passed in the House.

Members of the House Appropriations Committee will begin discussing how to hit that number with their Senate counterparts as soon as tonight, and Vice President Biden is heading to Capitol Hill for a 6pm meeting with the Senate Democratic leadership.

The deal could still fall apart over the composition of the cuts, or policy “riders” previously passed by the House.

Stephanopoulos has since updated his post to include a somewhat cryptic denial from Boehner's office:

Kevin Smith, a spokesman for the Speaker of the House, tells me "“There is no agreement on a number for the spending cuts. Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.”

Meanwhile, a top Republican source warns NRO's Dan Foster to beware of "done deal!" bluffs from Democrats:

“They are setting us up by saying there is a deal,” the source says, “so when there isn’t one by 4/8, they can claim they had a deal but we backed out.”

Regardless of whom you believe, this is a very precarious process.  I'll have a piece up tomorrow morning on Sen. Marco Rubio's thoughts on how the GOP should navigate these choppy seas.