Both Doug and Rich, below, make a crucial point: that the important debate about funding for the rest of the current year—a debate made necessary by the failure of the last congress to produce a budget—pales in scope and significance compared to the coming 2012 budget debate, which will begin as soon as next week.
The argument now raging about billions of dollars over the rest of this year matters a lot, but the debate soon to begin about trillions of dollars over the coming decades is by far the most important policy challenge this congress will confront. Republicans now seem poised to make pretty significant progress on the former—more or less achieving their original goal of reverting to 2008 levels for the remainder of the year—and then to press for far far greater progress on the latter.
Schweikert told The Hill Wednesday that for him and other freshmen, the Ryan budget is much more important than the current fight over 2011 spending. “That document is everything,” he said.