Last August’s deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling included a provision setting the level of federal spending for the fiscal 2013 budget. However, House Republicans have made a lot of noise about potentially presenting a 2013 budget that cuts even deeper. During an interview with Fox Business yesterday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) appeared open to such a move, indicating the GOP leadership’s willingness to renege on the spending level agreed to last year:
We put limits on how much discretionary spending we can have last year and this coming year, and frankly for the next eight years. But those are limits, they’re ceilings. We can certainly do more.
“We had a deal last August on the budget numbers, and we expect them to live with that deal,” said Sen. Patty Murray (WA). As Maddow Blog’s Steve Benen noted, “the result of this is — you guessed it — a possible government shutdown in an election year.”
And this is just one more instance in which Boehner is being pulled along by the more conservative members of his caucus. This week, Boehner had to dump one of his top priorities — a transportation funding bill — when conservatives revolted. Boehner has now indicated he will bring up the Senate’s transportation bill, which he will presumably pass with the help of Democrats in the House.