The country is only nine days away from a potential government shutdown, despite Congress’s extensions, while both parties battle it out over the federal budget. So will there be a shutdown, will we be seeing yet another few weeks of extensions while a deal is hammered out, or will there finally be a consensus and an actual budget passed this time?
The White House is sure that this time, once and for all, a deal will be struck that everyone can agree with.
As reported in the Hill, the President is “confident” that there will be a deal as long as everyone acts in “good faith.”
“I think this is always a complicated process, but we remain confident that if everybody is willing to roll up their sleeves and work on behalf of the American people towards finding common ground that we can get this done,” [Spokesman] Carney said during a gaggle aboard Air Force One.
Leading Republicans also are pushing for a deal, with Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina stating that a shutdown would hurt the GOP far more than it would help them, although not all of his party members agree with him.
“What is in our interest is to be the party that is making hard decisions like you do at home,” the senator said. “If we stay on message there and ask for reasonable things to get this reducing government started in 2011, I think we will do well in 2012. If the Democrats come 70 to 80 percent our way, as Ronald Reagan said, that’s a pretty good deal. We’ll get the 20 to 30 percent later.”
But House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday the likelihood of a shutdown has increased due to the impasse of a long-term plan on Capitol Hill and Graham said negotiators are “not close to that number yet.”
An actual shutdown would become an extensive P.R. spin war, with both sides blaming the other for being unwilling to compromise. So when it comes to a war of words, who is in a better position to make their case to the American voters?
In a survey conducted by Democracy Corps, a liberal polling consortium, in 50 competitive House districts currently held by Republicans, a majority of independents (53 percent) favor the GOP plan to cut $61 billion from domestic programs this year. Just 38 percent of independents oppose that idea.
Asked whether they were more concerned that Republicans would go too far in making cuts or that Democrats wouldn’t go far enough, 57 percent of independents were more concerned about Democrats not cutting enough, while 35 percent were more worried about the GOP cutting too much.
If no deal is reached and no short term extension plans are made, the government will officially shut down on April 8th. The last government shutdown was under President Clinton in 1995.
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