Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cowards Of The Country

It's intriguing whenever the legislative process works late into the night, especially unexpectedly:

CBS News Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes reports that legislation that reflects the deal made between Republicans and Democrats was posted online at 1:30 this morning.

Members of Congress are going to be getting their first real look of the deal Tuesday, and Republicans in particular are sure to express frustration that so many of the cuts in the deal aren't exactly cuts at all.

In other words, rather than face the music over the weekend from the Teabaggers, Boener decided that he would slink off into this week and marshall some sort of defensible position, spinning over the 72 hours or so what the GOP got out of the deal.

Among the cuts:

  • $700 million from clean and safe drinking water programs;
  • $390 million from heating subsidies;
  • $276 million from pandemic flu prevention programs; and
  • $1.5 billion from the president's new $8 billion initiative to spur high-speed rail development.

Many of the cuts appear to have been cuts in name only, because they came from programs that had unspent funds.

Now, admittedly, it's a continuing resolution and the first place you're going to look for immediate cuts is in money that hasn't been spent. By definition, since the resolution is not binding, you can't cut money already spent (say by pushing the cuts into the following year, thus advancing that budget to this year).

On the whole, the cuts seem to hurt both sides, which is the very definition of a consensus compromise. And yet, ol' Boener has said that he is married to the Teabaggers.

He couldn't be that cynical....could he?

(crossposted to Simply Left Behind)

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