The latest continuing resolution to fund the federal government runs out on April 8. While the last six deadlines have ultimately produced a temporary budget agreement between Republicans and Democrats, both sides say they are fed up with the piece-meal approach and want to hammer out a final budget for the rest of the year.
It’s looking more likely that this latest impasse cannot end without a government shutdown. This week, House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) declared that the American people would hold Democrats accountable for such a result. And this morning on Fox & Friends, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) repeated the talking point:
BACHMANN: We learned from Harry Reid, we learned from Chuck Schumer what the whole game plan is on the Democrats’ side. They are giddy about seeing the government shut down. That’s what they want. We can’t forget that. The Democrats want the government shut down.
In fact, Republican intransigence is the driving force behind the likelihood of a shutdown. Previous resolutions cut $10 billion from the budget, and the Democratic leadership has offered a total of $30 billion in cuts through the end of the year. This is roughly what Republican budget chairman Paul Ryan suggested at the start of the debate, before a Tea Party upheaval forced the House Republicans to pass a bill with both $61 billion in spending reductions and a series of controversial budget riders gutting funding for Planned Parenthood, health care reform, and the EPA.
Republicans now insist this budget must be the bare minimum for negotiations moving forward. They have also pointedly refused to consider savings in other parts of the budget, including defense spending or wasteful corporate tax subsidies.
Republicans have, of course, claimed again and again that they have no desire for a shutdown, and that it will be the fault of the Democrats if one occurs. The record, however, says otherwise. Watch this video report:
Whatever Eric Cantor may think, recent polls say it’s the Republicans that the public would hold accountable for a shutdown. As the video evidence demonstrates, there’s good reason for Americans to believe that.