Obama narrowly missed a government shutdown by stepping in at the last minute to make a much-needed compromise. In his Saturday media address, Obama praised everyone for putting together “the biggest annual spending cut in history” while also acknowledging the hefty cost of the deal. As he said, he had to “give ground” on important issues and accept “painful” cuts.At the moment, the entire situation still hinges on some precarious decisions. Obama signed a stopgap bill that will go before lawmakers midweek. If approved, it allows for time tow ork out federal spending details between now and September 30th when the 2011 fiscal year ends.
This time, the win, however, seems to be with the Republicans. As Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster explained, “Any time you can get significant cuts in a Democratic budget, in a government two-thirds controlled by Democrats, it’s a pretty significant victory.”Republicans are still quite split, however, on their opinions of this latest agreement. More than two dozen Republican conservatives showed their opposition in a House roll-call vote on Saturday. Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, for instance, attacked the agreement as he criticized it for not doing more to reduce the budget deficit.
Republican Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota criticized the bill for continuing to let federal money pour into Planned Parenthood and for the implementation of the new health care law. Both of these were GOP policy “riders” that the Republicans had to give up in the negotiations.While most are happy that a government shutdown was averted, all acknowledge that much of the more painful discussions are still to come.