Now That There Is A Deal, Can We Have A Budget?
The Republicans and Democrats made an agreement on the 2011 budget Friday night that saved the country from a government shutdown.
There’s only one small problem – no one seems to know the actual details.
Via The New York Times:
[I]t became evident on Sunday that they had yet to work out the details of the agreement, which would cut roughly $38 billion from a federal budget expected to exceed $3.7 trillion this year.
“You may not be surprised to hear this, but they’re still sifting through the areas where they are going to make cuts,” Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said Sunday on the ABC News program “This Week.”
A Republican Congressional aide said on Sunday night that the House and Senate Appropriations Committees were still working on the fine points, since “thousands of budget line items have to be negotiated.”
Some basic guidelines have been agreed to already: a third will come from the Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services, other chunks will come from housing assistance and health care, as well as foreign aid.
But without an actual item by item list, how do we know that the budget will in fact pass? Although everyone seems to agree that there will be enough votes to get it through, the public voices weighing in so far are non-committal at best and openly stating they will not vote for it at worst. Representatives Michele Bachmann and Mike Pence both stated in media interviews that they will not vote for the bill, and Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are still deciding where they stand based on final details.
Is it possible that once the budget is finalized the votes won’t be there and we will shut down after all, just one week after the crisis was supposed to be averted?
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