Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Showdown over Shutdown

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling House Speaker John Boehner’s bluff over the budget.

“A compromise on the budget is right there for the taking, assuming the Speaker still wants one,” Schumer said in a statement to reporters. “We take it for granted that because of the intense political pressure being applied by the Tea Party, the Speaker needs to play an outside game as well as an inside game. As long as he continues to negotiate, it’s OK by us if he needs to strike a different pose publicly.”

Contra the GOP, Schumer says Boehner has agreed to a spending cut number privately, and just needs to find a way to make the medicine go down with members of his own party.

“At this point, we are so far down the road towards an agreement, and so little time remains before Friday’s deadline, that it would be a dramatic about-face for the Speaker to suddenly let things devolve into a shutdown, as many in the Tea Party are urging,” Schumer said.

It’s very unusual to see the Democrats in the driver’s seat on negotiations like this. It makes you wonder how they’ll blow the deal.

Both sides are to meet today at the White House with the president to work it out.