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Federal gov’t shutdown avoided; next up the FY 2012 budget

April 10, 2011

President Obama is getting used to it.  

Like last December’s tax deal, he once again shared the credit for keeping the federal government operating until Congress can sign off on an FY 2011 budget deal which cuts non-defense discretionary spending by $38.5 billion.   Votes are scheduled this week.

President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced the budget agreement late Friday night just hours before federal agencies, like USDA, would have been forced to implement shutdown contingency plans. 

“This is an agreement to invest in our country’s future while making the largest annual spending cut in our history. Like any compromise, this required everyone to give ground on issues that were important to them. I certainly did.”

In his weekly YouTube address, the President compared the budget cuts to how a family must make ends meet.

Speaker Boehner was able to extract more cuts than Democrats were comfortable with.   As part of the deal, the Senate will debate and vote on both healthcare repeal and Planned Parenthood spending.  The GAO will study the economic impact of “Obamacare” and the Dodd-Frank financial services law.   The IRS will be barred from hiring any more agents. 

While not every Republican will vote for the final deal, the Speaker is getting credit for more than driving a hard bargain.   POLITICO’s John  Bresnahan and Jake Sherman heap on the praise.

In a larger sense, Boehner has achieved more than just a short-term budget victory — in his first three months as speaker, he’s helped turn the entire Washington dialogue into a debate about the size and scope of government. He started the year by getting rid of earmarks, he’s pushing through some of the deepest spending cuts in American history, and he’ll now try to get most of the GOP Conference on board with Rep. Paul Ryan’s fiscal 2012 budget — one of the most audacious long-term spending plans in recent memory.

Rep. Ryan released the Path to Prosperity last week.   The 74 page document is a summary of the House Republicans’ proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins this October 1.     Chairman Ryan also released his own YouTube video describing PtP’s highlights.

Along the pathway are proposed budget cuts for farm programs — $30 billion in cuts over 10 years to direct payments and to crop insurance.    More later on the proposed farm program cuts in the House Republican plan.

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