Advantage Republicans?

by Rich Lowry

As Andrew Stiles is about to report on the home page, and as suggested below, Boehner has rallied House Republicans behind a short-term, one-week CR that will cut another $12 billion and fund the military for the rest of the year. This move shows Republicans are aware of the first rule of a shutdown fight — don’t get blamed for the shutdown.

The short-term measure is going to put Harry Reid and the White House in a tight spot. By putting the ball in their court, it puts them in the position of making the affirmative decision to shut the government and do it while turning away a bill to fund the military. Also, in the context of a $1.5 trillion deficit, $12 billion seems piddling and — together with the prior $10 billion of cuts — it still falls short of the $33 billion Democrats have agreed to. If they reject the bill anyway, it’s going to make it easier to blame them for a shutdown; if they accept, Republicans will have gotten $22 billion in cuts even before a final deal.