POTUS WON’T SIGN ONE-WEEK EXTENSION…. Three weeks ago, congressional Republicans swore up and down that they were through with temporary budget extensions. They’d grudgingly allow this last one, giving policymakers three weeks to work out a deal, but that’s it. Come April 8, there’d either be an agreement or a shutdown. Full stop.
Just yesterday, these same GOP lawmakers changed course. They now want a one-week, short-gap continuing resolution. If it were a sincere effort, Republicans could craft a “clean” CR, without extraneous measures or poison-pill provisions. Instead, this new plan would cut $12 billion in a week, but would also fund the Pentagon for the rest of the fiscal year.
In this transparent stunt, Republicans have begun calling this their “troop funding bill.” It has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer — the GOP has designed this to fail, so they can (a) argue Dems are to blame for the Republicans’ shutdown; and (b) accuse Dems of not supporting the troops.
One would have to be exceedingly dumb to fall for this, but GOP leaders are willing to give it a shot anyway.
The White House isn’t impressed, and a short while ago, issued a statement of administration policy vowing a veto.
The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 1363, making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, and for other purposes. As the President stated on April 5, 2011, if negotiations are making significant progress, the Administration would support a short-term, clean Continuing Resolution to allow for enactment of a final bill.
For the past several weeks, the Administration has worked diligently and in good faith to find common ground on the shared goal of cutting spending. After giving the Congress more time by signing short-term extensions into law, the President believes that we need to put politics aside and work out our differences for a bill that covers the rest of the fiscal year. This bill is a distraction from the real work that would bring us closer to a reasonable compromise for funding the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 and avert a disruptive Federal Government shutdown that would put the Nation’s economic recovery in jeopardy. The Administration will continue to work with the Congress to arrive at a compromise that will fund the Government for the remainder of the fiscal year in a way that does not undermine future growth and job creation and that averts a costly Government shutdown. It is critical that the Congress send a final bill to the President’s desk that provides certainty to our men and women in military uniform, their families, small businesses, homeowners, taxpayers, and all Americans. H.R. 1363 simply delays that critical final outcome.
If presented with this bill, the President will veto it.
It’s not even clear what GOP officials would expect to do with another week anyway. There’s a deal on the table, and Democrats have already agreed to all kinds of concessions. Hell, President Obama is now offering more budget cuts that Boehner originally asked for when the process started.
They don’t need a week; they need to be grown up enough to do their duty.