On the main site today, Tracy Mehan weighs the relative significance of the spending fight for the next six months and the Ryan budget's fight over spending for the next ten years. Paul Ryan touches on this himself in his WSJ piece:
Congress is currently embroiled in a funding fight over how much to spend on less than one-fifth of the federal budget for the next six months. Whether we cut $33 billion or $61 billion-that is, whether we shave 2% or 4% off of this year's deficit-is important. It's a sign that the election did in fact change the debate in Washington from how much we should spend to how much spending we should cut.
It seems House Republicans are already moving toward a continuing resolution that would fund the military through September and the rest of the government for one week, buying time for more negotiations. Will the Ryan budget make a difference in how Republicans approach the debate over the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year? I can tell you that I've spoken to a number of House Republican freshmen over the last couple weeks. None said they would press for fewer spending cuts based on a good 2012 budget and several said they were done voting for short-term continuing resolutions. But we'll see.
UPDATE: The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza asks if Republicans can cut a budget deal with themselves. He points to a Pew poll showing that 56 percent of conservative Republicans and 68 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners who identify with the Tea Party favor a principled government shutdown if adequate spending cuts cannot be agreed upon. John Boehner, who was chairman of the House Republican Conference in 1995-96, is clearly hoping to avoid a shutdown.
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