The Corner

What’s the Deal?

A cloud of ambiguity continues to hang over the ongoing budget talks. Vice President Joe Biden announced last night that House Republicans and Senate Democrats are “working off the same number” regarding the amount of spending cuts to be included in a continuing resolution to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, but that contentious negations continue over the substance of the cuts.

As Bob reports below, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) says “there is no agreement on a set of numbers,” and his spokesman Michael Steel tells NRO: “The Vice President simply hasn’t been at the table.”

As Dan point out here, some GOP insiders smell a set-up, which seems perfectly logical in the context of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s concerted efforts to shut down the government and blame it on Republicans.

One GOP aide on the House Appropriations Committee, the staff of which is currently negotiating the terms of a potential CR with its counterpart in the Senate, tells NRO that they can’t confirm a specific number, but tellingly reminds us: “Chairman Rogers has said that he wouldn’t begin negotiations unless he was given a negotiated target number from our leadership.”

Even if a specific number has been agreed to, it is fair to say (as both sides readily admit) negotiators have a lot of ground to make up before a final deal, if possible, can be finalized. They have until April 8.

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

White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More

In Defense of Tulsi

Some years ago, a liberal-minded friend of mine complained during lunch that Fox News was “stealing” his elderly parents. “They should be enjoying retirement,” he said, noting that they live in a modest but comfortable style with attentive children and grandchildren to enjoy. “But instead,” he sighed, ... Read More

Not Less Religion, Just Different Religion

The Pew Poll tells us that society is secularizing -- particularly among the young -- and who can deny it? That is one reason that the free expression of religion is under such intense pressure in the West. But it seems to me that we aren't really becoming less religious. Rather, many are merely changing that ... Read More