The number 2 Republican in the House is saying it will not pass another short-term federal funding bill.
The promise is a federal government shutdown if negotiations between the GOP and the White House don’t produce a 2011 spending agreement by an April 8 deadline.
That’s next week Friday.
Majority Leader Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia says time is up.
He wants Democrats controlling the White House and the Senate to come up with “significant” spending cuts as part of legislation to fund the government for the rest of the budget year.
Surprisingly, Cantor is not a Tea Party darling.
In fact, some tea party activists are upset with him – saying he isn’t working hard enough to make deeper cuts in federal spending.
Reading between the lines – which you have to do with political statements – Republicans could approve a stopgap bill if an agreement is made between Democrats and the White House that would need time to draft into legislation and pass through House and Senate.
In reality, talks have mostly broken down and everyone is filling their time pointing fingers at the other side.
Democrats say GOP leaders, scared of a tea-party rebellion, have pulled back from a near-agreement on an overall figure for spending cuts that would slash President Barack Obama’s budget requests for the current year by $70 billion or more.
Republicans say Democrats haven’t offered up big enough cuts.
And they want some of the many conservative policy additions added in floor debate last month to be included in a final agreement.
If nothing is worked out by April 8th we can look forward to a partial shutdown of every government agency.
Essential workers such as military troops, FBI agents, homeland security workers and many others would remain on the job.
Bottom of the 8th inning.
Who’s stepping up to the plate?