From NRO’s The Corner:
House Republicans are preparing a third short-term spending resolution in the event that a long-term compromise cannot be reached with Senate Democrats and the White House before April 8, GOP aides confirm. That scenario suddenly looks a lot more likely after a tense back-and-forth Monday between leaders on both sides of the debate. The measure would last for one week, cut $12 billion in domestic discretionary spending, but would include funding for the Defense Department until the end of the current fiscal year (September 30).
GOP leaders are also distributing pamphlets instructing members on how to prepare for a government shutdown, making sure they are ready for all possible scenarios…
I have to say that the idea of a third stop-gap doesn’t appeal to me, at all. The Democrats are entirely in campaign mode right now – all their actions are geared towards winning advantage for 2012. They hope to get the GOP to engage in endless budget debates, with the eventual thought being that the people will be turned off and start to lose any faith at all in the GOP…and thus open the door up for a Democrat come-back next year (at least to the extent of re-electing Obama). Force them in to a box – no more continuing resolutions: agree to the final budget, cuts and all, or shut down the government.
The GOP is still fearful that a government shut down will make people angry with the GOP – as I’ve said before, the memories of 1995 die hard. But, as I’ve also said, this isn’t 1995. The people have utter contempt for the government right now…shutting it down will both be popular, as an event, and also be an excellent tool to beat up Democrats with. The story isn’t “oh, my, how will granny get her SS check” but, “goodness, what a bunch of creeps those Democrats are – shutting down the government to protect cowboy poetry/Planned Parenthood funding/insert idiotic spending measure here”. The people are on our side – but only as long as the GOP is on the people’s side. If people start to perceive that the GOP is simply afraid (or, worse, actually cutting deals with the Big Government types), then the people will abandon the GOP.
Fight it out right now – and keep the government shut down until October 1st, if that is what it takes to get the Democrats to agree to spending cuts. The people will sustain us in this fight, if we’ll just agree to have it.
UPDATE: The Plan is unveiled.