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Congress Close to Passing 6-Month Continuing Resolution

Congress Close to Passing 6-Month Continuing Resolution

The Hill reports that on Thursday, Senior House and Senate leaders expressed optimism about reaching an agreement on a continuing resolution (CR) that would prevent the government from being shut down before the November elections.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House leaders seem to be leaning toward agreeing on a six-month CR that would keep the government running into 2013. Others in the House want a three-month CR, which would force Congress to debate the matter again before the end of this calendar year. The current fiscal year ends on September 30, but discussions concerning the CR have taken on urgency because Congress will only be in session for about three weeks between now and Sept. 30. 

Of course, these emergency measures are required because the Senate, controlled by Democrats, have failed to pass a budget for over a thousand days. But since the media never reports or explains this, a government shutdown would hurt Republicans and give Obama a foil he can run against while he tries to desperately avoid talking about anything related to his disastrous economy. 

Conservative Republicans want a six-month CR because they are banking on getting more Republicans in Congress after the November elections, giving them more numbers in passing a more fiscally conservative budget in 2013.  In the best-case scenario, Republicans would be negotiating in 2013 with a Republican Senate, House, and President. 

Other Republicans want a three-month CR, but this worries many conservatives who fear that defeated lawmakers and a potentially defeated President Barack Obama would drastically increase spending — literally having nothing to lose — if another round of budget negotiations occurs during the lame duck session of Congress. 

Democrats, on the other hand, seem to benefit no matter how these negotiations turn out.

Democrats are the ones playing games by openly playing politics with military sequestration and publicly commenting on their willingness to take the country over the cliff using by letting the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year. The Democrats — and the media — are trying to bait Republicans into shutting down the government for short-term political gain.

Fearful of this, the spending cap that will most likely be agreed upon would be $15 billion more than what was allowed in the budget the House passed, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

So if an agreement is not reached, Democrats win because Republicans will be framed as being responsible for shutting down the government, which, for many non-essential services and matters, may not be a bad thing given the country’s fiscal mess. And if the agreement is reached on a CR, Democrats would also win because they would get $15 billion more in spending increases. Once again, Republicans will get barely any concessions from Democrats, which shows they are not concerned about spending cuts or are just bad negotiators, both of which do not bode well for those concerned about the country’s deficit and debt. 

These negotiations should be motivation enough to send Congress as many fiscally conservative Republicans as possible.

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