To Delay Gov't Shutdown, GOP Requiring $12B in Additional Cuts in Already Disastrous Budget

The budgetary circus continues. Here's a summary of the latest move by Republicans, as the government faces imminent shutdown (via Politico):

President Barack Obama called top lawmakers to the White House for a meeting Tuesday, even as House Republicans edged closer to a real government shutdown Friday if the GOP’s demands for domestic spending cuts are not immediately met.

A draft bill being prepared by the House Appropriations Committee on Monday night would put the Defense Department on permanent footing through the end of this fiscal year but require $12 billion in new cuts as the price for keeping domestic agencies and the State Department operating another week.

What thugs, right? But wait, it gets worse:

The GOP proposal would also include a provision “preventing both federal and local funds from being used to provide abortions in the District of Columbia,” according to a statement from the Appropriations Committee.

Yes, because that'll fix all of America's fiscal woes. Also, the Republicans do know that the Hyde Amendment already bans federal funding for abortion, yes? With all the energy spent this Congress on curtailing abortion rights, they must know. And yet here we are. ("Jobs jobs jobs!")

Here's TPM's analysis of the GOP move:

The purpose is simple. If negotiations over a six-month spending package don't yield an agreement in the next day or two, the Congress will be armed with the proper protocols for operating during shutdown. But the House of Representatives will also pass a politically tough temporary funding package -- with cuts too deep for many Democrats to accept -- and leave the question of a shutdown in their hand. If the Senate can pass it, and the President signs it, it buys congressional leaders and the White House another week to hash out a longer plan -- but at the cost of steep, steep cuts. On an annualized basis, it would amount to well over half a trillion dollars.

ThinkProgress has an excellent piece on the the potential consequences of the Republican budget plan, which would effectively phase out Medicare over the coming decade. Those consequences include increased costs for lower-income and sicker senior citizens and widespread confusion over policy options. Read more about it here, and check out TPM for even more information on the odious plan.

One more thing: Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks and, more recently, MSNBC grilled Bernie Sanders last night on why Democrats aren't taking a harder stand against the GOP budget. It's well worth a watch (via Mediaite):

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at April 5, 2011, 4:32am

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