Kevin Drum adds another bit to consider in the government shutdown:
Democrats have already agreed to fund the government at Republican levels. In other words, they’ve already caved in. It wasn’t even a compromise. They’ve just flatly given in to Republican demands to continue funding at sequester levels.
This is the CR that Republicans now refuse to pass.
Democrats don’t want these cuts but have agreed to them to keep the government running, what have Republicans compromised on?
Let’s look at this story:
Representative Tim Huelskamp, a Kansas Republican, and many of his colleagues cast the blame for the shutdown on the Senate, accusing senators of wanting to hold onto “their own gold-crusted health care plan” rather than negotiate with House Republicans over fixing what they view as flaws in the 2010 health overhaul.
“I want it to be over now,” Huelskamp said of the shutdown. “All we’re waiting on is for the Senate to actually appoint some negotiators.”
The competing budgets were first passed in May and House Republicans didn’t negotiate all through the summer:
In the meantime, Republicans face a listless summer, with little appetite for compromise but no leverage to shape an agreement. Without that leverage, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday, there is no point in opening formal budget negotiations between the House and the Senate, because Democrats have no reason to consider the kind of far-reaching changes to Medicare and the U.S. tax code that Republicans see as fundamental building blocks of a deal.
And even their attempt to negotiate are farcical:
The latest House Republican plan to fund only certain portions of the government — national parks, veterans services, and the District of Columbia — was pilloried before it was even voted on. Obama threatened to veto it and Senate majority leader Harry Reid called it “just another wacky idea from the Tea Party-driven Republicans.”
House Republicans, in an attempt to put Democrats on the spot and essentially dare them to vote against measures that included popular programs, called for a vote requiring a two-thirds majority. But the measures all failed on Tuesday night, with Democrats remaining mostly united.
And they even helpfully explain why this is such a joke:
“We’re going to start picking off those priorities that are important,” said Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), as lawmakers prepared to vote to reopen the national parks and services for veterans. “The IRS was last on the list. The EPA was right above it.”
That’s right, the Republican attempt at negotiations is to only fund programs they want. We’re doomed.