“…Republicans refuse to negotiate on a final number. That’s because the biggest gap in this negotiation isn’t between Republicans and Democrats – it’s between Republicans and Republicans. The infighting between the Tea Party and the rest of the Republican Party – including the Republican leadership in Congress – is keeping our negotiating partner from the negotiating table… Republicans have to resolve their own deep disagreements before we can find middle ground between the two parties. We’ve tried to wait patiently for them to do that, but our patience and the American people’s patience is wearing thin.”
– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [03/28/11]
This week, House Democrats continue to call on Republicans to work with us on a compromise measure that will fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. But conservative Republicans have made it clear they are not interested in negotiating:
“Tea Party supporters are coming to the Capitol this week to rally Republicans to hold the line and not compromise with Democrats on spending cuts.” [NY Times, 03/28/11]
“…harsh rhetoric Friday night suggests GOP leaders still fear a tea party rebellion.” [Politico, 03/27/11]
Continuing to fund the government in week by week increments is inefficient, costly to taxpayers and creates uncertainty in the public and private sector. Democrats stand ready to make smart, targeted cuts that will not undermine economic growth and American competitiveness. With conservative Republicans refusing to negotiate, it’s clear that Republican leadership should work with Democrats to pass a compromise measure – without extreme social policy riders that do not belong in this funding measure – so that we can reduce spending while protecting investments that will grow the economy and create jobs.
“Striking a deal with Democrats would set off a wave of revolt among the most conservative members of his caucus.” [The Hill, 03/29/11]
“The White House and Republicans are within striking distance of a deal on spending cuts for this year, but policy differences and tea party pressures will make it difficult to reach closure before a threatened government shutdown April 8…With a tea party rally scheduled Thursday near the Capitol, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is clearly skittish of any discussion of restoring cuts.” [Politico, 03/29/11]