Saturday, April 09, 2011

Boehner and the Art of Caucus Maintenance

My military friends are celebrating the budget deal last night for good reason; there was real concern last night as to whether they would get a full week's pay next week. The deal cuts about $38 million from the FY 2011 budget but leaves out most of the "riders" that upset Democrats, including defunding of Planned Parenthood and restrictions on the EPA. While President Obama was upbeat Saturday morning (and had probably cut his losses significantly by being able to show active involvement in the finished product), the almost certain winner was John Boehner, who got the first actual cuts in a Federal budget in my lifetime. Boehner's key successes--keeping most of the "Tea Party" right on board by keeping them apprised of negotiations and letting go riders which could wait for another day.

While Operation Rescue and Michelle Bachmann may not be on board with the final compromise and the Media Matters/"professional left" are almost certainly less than thrilled, the compromise is indeed a reasonable first step. Even the happiest parties; however, have no illusions about the difficult negotiations associated with the increase in the debt ceiling and the FY 2012 budget.


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