Congress Strikes Deal, Shutdown Averted (Updated)

Fox News is reporting:

House Speaker John Boehner, speaking briefly to reporters after talks had concluded, said the plan was to pass one last short-term spending resolution Friday night to buy lawmakers the time needed to prepare and pass the final budget bill.

Hot Air reports in its final updates:

Tapper says the GOP conference has given Boehner the green light and now sources from both sides are saying the deal is done. $38.5 billion in cuts, no defunding of Planned Parenthood. National Journal sets the scene inside the conference room:

BREAKING: House Speaker John Boehner outlined the parameters of a long-term funding deal, telling his members in a closed-door meeting, “This is the best deal we could get out of them,” according to a lawmaker in the room who asked not to be identified.

The deal is still not official, Boehner cautioned, but in a sign things are coming to a close, the House is preparing for a 5-6-day short-term continuing resolution with $3 billion in cuts, he told members, according to the lawmaker.

Update: Here’s a slightly sunnier way to think of the $38.5 billion in cuts: “CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh reported that a senior GOP aide in the meeting called it the ‘largest real dollar spending cut in American history’ and said the proposal would cut more than $500 billion from the federal budget over the next 10 years.”

The joint statement from Reid and Boehner:

“We have agreed to an historic amount of cuts for the remainder of this fiscal year, as well as a short-term bridge that will give us time to avoid a shutdown while we get that agreement through both houses and to the President. We will cut $78.5 billion below the President’s 2011 budget proposal, and we have reached an agreement on the policy riders. In the meantime, we will pass a short-term resolution to keep the government running through Thursday. That short-term bridge will cut the first $2 billion of the total savings.”

As part of the compromise, the GOP will get a vote in the Senate on defunding Planned Parenthood and NPR, etc. Needless to say, those votes will fail.

At Michelle Malkin, Doug Powers reports:

Obama has canceled his Colonial Williamsburg weekend vacation. A possible indicator that nothing’s going to be solved today.

Update X: Maybe the Williamsburg vacation can be quickly re-scheduled — a deal has been reached to avoid a shutdown. Details are still, as they say, sketchy:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and congressional leaders reached a last-minute budget deal on Friday, averting a government shutdown, Republican lawmakers said.

With a midnight deadline looming for a government closure, the compromise between Obama’s Democrats and opposition Republicans requires lawmakers to approve stopgap funding to keep federal agencies running into next week until the budget agreement can be formally enacted.

Republican Congressman Devin Nunes told Reuters that “the deal” — a plan for $39 billion in spending cuts — was presented to House Republicans at a closed-door meeting and that most members would vote for it. There was no immediate comment from the White House or congressional Democrats.


A lot of people are slamming  Boehner for not getting everything we wanted, as if he didn’t have a Dem-Socialist Senate, and President to deal with. When he says that was the best deal he could get, I tend to believe him. The punditry in Washington are saying that this was a win for Boehner.

Pundette says: In budget deal, Obama and Reid lose

They came to an agreement with Boehner that can’t make them happy. The deal itself is better than I expected: $38.5 billion in cuts, no federally funded abortions for DC, and separate votes on Planned Parenthood funding and Obamacare repeal.* Andrew Stiles calls it a big win for Boehner, and makes a pretty convincing case that it’s so:

Perhaps more significant than the $38.5 billion in cuts, which Boehner told members was “the best deal we could get,” are the political implications as both side prepare to tackle the bigger spending issues. “We’ve changed the conversation,” said freshman Rep. Tim Griffin (R., Ark.). “This year we’re talking about how much we’re going to reduce — cut — and that’s a major cultural shift in a matter of months.”

Indeed, Harry’s Reid dramatic shift on spending cuts — from denouncing the initial GOP offer ($32 billion) as “draconian” and “unworkable,” to celebrating a $38.5 billion spending cut as “historic” — is remarkable in and of itself. Also telling was the way that Democrats artificially inflated the amount of cuts being offered. (At least they care enough about the political sensibilities of American voters to lie to them about it).

Read it all.

See also:

Carl Cameron, Fox News: Who Won the Shutdown Showdown? It Wasn’t Even Close

The history of offers on this bill goes something like this. Democrats first offered no cuts, then $4 billion, then $6.5 billion, then $33 billion, then settled at $38.5 billion.

Boehner made numerous adjustments to his offer in recent days too, but started at $32 billion, then with a Tea Party push went to $62 billion, then dropped to $40 billion, then $38.5 billion.

Democrats claimed they met Republicans halfway after the $10 billion in cuts that already passed this year were approved. They settled late Friday night at three and a half times more.

Boehner came in $8.5 billion higher than the halfway point between his high offer of $61 billion in cuts and the Democrats opening bid of zero cuts.

It was not a totally lopsided bargain. Dems have some silver linings. There were no votes on defunding the EPA or PBS and NPR. Democrats fought for and won a $2 billion cut from the Department of Defense, knocking the military appropriation for the rest of the year down to $513 billion.

But the GOP had to be able to see this as a win in the end, because it is puny compared to what they want to do next.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget resolution proposes cuts of $5 TRILLION in the next 10 yrs.

Cameron neglects to mention that the  100 million in cuts were promised conservatives in the Republicans’ 2010 campaign pledge to America.
It’s not like tea party conservatives were being unreasonable in expecting Republicans to at least try to keep their promise.

Dick Morris says Republicans sold us out: A BUDGET DEAL: REPUBLICAN SUICIDE:

We all watched in amazement and horror as the Democratic Party led its minions off the cliff and made them vote to jam through Obama’s health care law. We knew it was mass suicide, but we watched with incredulity as they bravely stepped up to drink the Kool-Aid. Now it is the turn of the Republicans freshmen — the very people who inherited the seats of those who walked the plank — to march off a cliff of their own.

The electorate that impelled the GOP triumph in 2010 will not tolerate a breaking of the Republican promise to cut $100 billion from the budget. They will accept, of course, the pro-rated share of the advertised total — $61 billion over seven months — but not anything less. It is a simple matter of keeping one’s campaign promises.

Any freshman who votes for a budget deal below $61 billion will face a primary and likely defeat either for the nomination of in the general election. That is just the fact of political life.

The Tea Party supporters and the aroused Republican electorate will not stand for it. The myopia which obscures Boehner’s and Cantor’s view of this reality is as blinding as that which made Pelosi, Obama, and Reid sacrifice their majority over health care.

RS McCain isn’t thrilled with the deal, either, writing at The American Spectator: Boehner’s Bargain: Conservative Victory?

My own midnight mood was disgruntled. It appears that Republican leaders used pro-lifers as a bargaining chip, making a show of standing firm on the defunding of Planned Parenthood, only to abandon that position at the last minute. The GOP thus made a winner of Chuck Schumer, who had vowed the Senate would “never, never, never” agree to cut the taxpayer subsidy to Planned Parenthood.

Basic rule of thumb: It’s not a conservative victory if Chuck Schumer has any reason to smile.

Beyond the GOP’s disappointing (but by no means unprecedented) abandonment of social conservatives, the amount that Boehner’s bargain would cut from the 2011 budget, about $39 billion, represents something less than 1/30th of this year’s deficit. So if this “historic” reduction of federal spending (to borrow Harry Reid’s expression) charts our future course, the United States might achieve a balanced budget by 2042.

Gabe at AoSHQ couldn’t disagree more:

So Reid was left with the policy riders, especially the defunding of Planned Parenthood. On that one issue Reid got some traction, but only very late in the negotiations. But note, even there he failed to preserve his position. Originally, Reid said that he would never allow a floor vote on Planned Parenthood funding. Never. It was entirely off limits. But there’s a funny thing about saying “never” when you’re talking about public consideration of how to spend millions of dollars. Reid’s “never” looked pretty damn unreasonable.

And now, because of Boehner’s oh-so-reasonable demeanor, there will be a floor vote on corporate welfare for Planned Parenthood. To go along with larger budget cuts than the ones that Reid called “extreme” and “draconian” just a month ago.

Not bad, Speaker.


19 thoughts on “Congress Strikes Deal, Shutdown Averted (Updated)

  1. I don’t know why, but each time I hear Reid speak I get sick to my stomach, the only thing I’m happy about is that our troops will get paid. great post thank you 🙂


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  3. We do not yet have the leaders with the courage and will to fight to win in DC.
    Obama, Reid and those with them won this battle.


  4. Obama takes credit for cutting the budget. Obama is the winner. Lucy Boehner pulled the football away, just as the Republicans were going to kick it.


  5. I was so disappointed that this was the best we could get!! Funding abortions, no attempt to curb Obamacare, and a promised vote to attempt to bring down Planned Parenthood seems weak with the looming deficit. This was our trump card which was badly played. Republicans sold out to the Minority leader with just 20 minutes to go. Majority Leader Boener failed those of us that want to take back America from those who would destroy her!


  6. If the Republicans couldn’t do any better than that this time then there is no reason to believe we can expect anything greater down the road. Screw washington, nothing ever seems to change there for the better. Probably too late for a third party to emerge and it would do us in for at least a term but this is no alternative I don’t think.


  7. People are forgetting that Dem Socialists control the Senate and the White House. I think Boehner has proven himself to be a savvy negotiator, and worthy opponent to these clowns.
    As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned,
    Kathryn Jean Lopez calls the deal a victory for the culture of life:

    The House got an agreement out of Harry Reid and the White House to prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions in the District of Columbia, and to allow a vote in the Senate over Planned Parenthood funding (and Obamacare). [. . .]

    I think the Dems probably made a long-term mistake making Planned Parenthood the story today. I think there will be some revealing hearings to come.

    That’s from the Pundette post I linked to in my update.


  8. From Pundette:

    Yes, I think the conversation has been changing on Planned Parenthood, too. More people are seeing the big money-making abortion provider for what it is. Harry “women’s health” Reid and Louise “they kill women, don’t they” Slaughter didn’t gain credibility for themselves or their cause with their crazy rhetoric.

    While I agree that some have awakened to see Murder, Inc. for what it is, I think it is overly optimistic to believe that we will gain real ground against it in the coming months. The lefties lurve them their murder under the cloak of privacy. This deal came up short in dollars and integrity.


  9. Remember, this was a budget bill, not an abortion bill. If Boehner could get Reid to agree to more cuts, using Planned Parenthood as a political chip, more power to him.

    They can deal with Planned Parenthood at a later date.

    Look, I don’t think John Boehner, a Catholic from a big family, who weeps at the very mention of children (or his hero, Henry Hyde) — lacks integrity on pro life issues.


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  11. Remember, this was a budget bill, not an abortion bill. If Boehner could get Reid to agree to more cuts, using Planned Parenthood as a political chip, more power to him.

    Deb, we’ve never made headway with the correct argument that this is something that government has no busines providing in the first place. This was a chance to win more in the general public with the also correct argument that we simply cannot keep borrowing to pay for it.

    I’d love to believe that we Brer Rabbitted the DemCong on this one. I truly would, but the ones who got thrown under the bus with this bargaining chip will never be able to express their displeasure. But my kids will still get the bill for those murders. I can’t see where 38 billion in cuts was worth it.


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