The Corner

Reid to Offer Stop-gap CR, No Cuts

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has seen the House Republican proposal to cut $61 billion in federal spending and issued a counteroffer: Nothing. In a statement released today, Reid called on House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) to “stop drawing lines in the sand” and “work with [Democrats] to negotiate a responsible, long-term solution.” In the meantime, until an agreement can be made, Reid said he plans to introduce a “stop-gap” resolution that would keep the government funded at current levels for 30 days:

To avoid a shutdown and give us time to negotiate a responsible path forward, I have asked Sen. Inouye, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to prepare a clean Continuing Resolution that I can bring to the floor next week. Since this bill is intended to fund vital services like Social Security, our military and border security, it should have no legislation or riders tied to it. This bill will include the $41 billion in budget cuts that Democrats and Republicans agreed to in December, and will keep the government running for 30 days while both sides can negotiate a common-sense, long-term solution.

Of course, by “include $41 billion in budget cuts” he really means zero dollars in budget cuts, because that number is based off of President Obama’s 2011 budget request, which was never enacted. The resolution Reid is proposing would continue to fund the government at its current rate. Boehner has already made clear than any spending resolution, short-term or otherwise, must include spending cuts.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) responded by calling the Democrats’ commitment to the status quo on spending unacceptable. “The American people spoke loud and clear: stop the Washington spending spree and bring down the debt,” McConnell said in a statement. “Yet Washington Democrats can’t find a single dime of federal spending to cut, insisting on the status quo, even for a short-term spending bill. But keeping bloated spending levels in place and, predictably, proposing even more tax increases, is simply unacceptable.”

The current continuing resolution expires on March 4.

UPDATE: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) responds:

The short-term CR plan that Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid announced today shows – yet again – that he is not serious about cutting spending and getting our fiscal house in order. While Leader Reid claims that his plan cuts spending, all it does is lock in the status quo spending levels which increased 24% over the past two years. I challenge him to identify a single cut from current spending levels included in his plan.

Leader Reid also claims in his statement that Republicans are threatening to shutdown the government, nothing could be further from the truth. As I said this morning, a government shutdown is not an acceptable outcome, and I again call upon Leader Reid to commit take that threat off the table and find areas to actually cut spending from the levels we are currently operating at. We need to work together so that we can keep the government functioning and take the first steps toward getting our fiscal house in order to foster an environment where businesses can grow and create jobs. Leader Reid’s smoke-in-mirrors version of spending cuts doesn’t pass the smell test and it won’t get us any closer to living within our means just like every business and family throughout the country is doing.

UPDATE II: The tit-for-tat escalates, as House Republicans announce they are preparing a short-term resolution of their own. As promised, it will include spending cuts. The Hill reports:

House Republicans are drafting a short-term measure funding government at reduced levels to bring up and pass next week in order to avoid a government shutdown.

The House GOP intends to unveil a resolution later this week that would continue funding the government past the March 4 deadline on which the government would run out of money, and face a shutdown.

Republicans hope to pass the resolution, which will include cuts from current spending at a level that’s to-be-determined, early next week in order to put the onus on the Senate to act, or risk a government shutdown.

Andrew Stiles — Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

Most Popular

Sports

It’s Time for Colin Kaepernick to Move On

Colin Kaepernick. Remember him? Below-average quarterback. Above-average poseur. Not “activist,” not really. Activists actually say stuff. Kaepernick almost never says anything. He’s like the Queen or most popes — you have to read the deep-background musings of supposed members of his inner circle to get ... Read More
U.S.

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More
Elections

Trump and the Black Vote

"Donald Trump is a racist, white supremacist, white nationalist. So are his supporters." Some version of that refrain is heard almost hourly somewhere in mainstream media. Democratic politicians seem to proclaim it more often than that. Listening only to the Left, you'd conclude that more than half a ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More
U.S.

The Age of Miscalculation

On August 7, 1998, more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Americans learned three names most of them never had heard before: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a ... Read More