Dems Getting Ready to Roll Over on Budget Yet Again

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Since House Republicans have steadfastly refused to pass a FY2014 budget—mostly on the peculiar grounds that if they did, it would force them to open negotiations with the Senate and run the risk of, um, negotiating—the only way to keep the government running for the next few months is via a short-term stopgap called a Continuing Resolution. So that’s where all the budget action is right now. What will be in the CR? Jonathan Cohn gives us a peek at where we stand right now:

The White House, in its 2014 budget, called for spending levels of $1.058 trillion during the next fiscal year….Senate Democrats passed a similar proposal. The original House Republican budget, the one crafted by Paul Ryan, sought $967 billion in total spending.

This new House Republican proposal calls for spending levels of $988 billion. As Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, says, “That number is intolerable…. Why is the compromise between $1058 billion for the Senate, $1058 billion for the White House, and 967 for the House $988 billion?”….And it’s even less of a compromise than it seems at first blush. The extra spending in the new House proposal—the difference between the $967 billion in the original budget and the $988 billion in the new one—is almost entirely in additional defense spending.

….For the proposal to become law, Senate Democrats would have to approve it. So would Obama….Precisely because the proposal would extend only through December, they seem less likely to fight it, as Salon’s Brian Beutler and MSNBC’s Suzy Khimm have noted….The danger, of course, is that undoing the cuts will be even more difficult if they’ve been in place for another two-and-a-half months.

The House Republican caucus may be crazy and its leadership may be weak. But they’re laying the foundation for a debate that will end with spending cuts that further weaken the economic recovery—and continue to undermine vital government services.

Hooray! Liberals are getting ready to cave in without a fight yet again. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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