The Corner

Schumer: Dems Aren’t Losing the Spending Debate

In an interview with Talking Points Memo, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) — a.k.a. “Senator Shutdown” — tries to push back against conservatives who argue, as Rich does on the homepage, that Democrats are having their lunches handed to them by Republicans on spending.

“The total number of cuts has never been as important as where the cuts come from,” Schumer told TPM. “We’ve made good headway in getting some of their most reckless cuts off the table.”

[. . .]

“Many have thought for a while this is where a compromise would be had, but our job has been making sure we aren’t cutting the wrong things.”

Both of the GOP’s proposals have been limited to non-defense discretionary spending, and targeted key liberal priorities like Pell grants. The Dems seem to have successfully pushed to broaden the budgetary scope of the negotiations to include mandatory spending — entitlement programs like Medicare, and perhaps subsidies written into the tax code, which takes pressure off the government services in the discretionary budget. They also plan to reroute the cuts to be less offensive to the Democratic base. And, Schumer insists, the final bill will not include controversial spending limitations or handcuff the executive branch.

“None of the most controversial riders,” will be included in the deal, Schumer said.

Andrew StilesAndrew 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 ...

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