Kabuki Trigger Lock

Thing Progress reports:

[A]ccording to Reuters, both Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-OH) are ready to cut below the level specified in the debt ceiling deal:

Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are ready to break a hard-fought budget deal with Democrats as they try to quell a revolt by conservatives who are insisting on deeper spending cuts ahead of the November elections.

House Republican aides said on Tuesday that House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor were pressing for a modest $19 billion reduction of discretionary spending caps in this year’s Republican budget plan.

“I’m really disappointed that they’re considering a budget – violating the budget agreement that is now the law of this country. This was designed to avoid another government shutdown or a threat of a shutdown,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). “We had a deal last August on the budget numbers, and we expect them to live with that deal,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) has said. The end result of this standoff could be yet another impending government shutdown, as the government’s current spending authority expires on September 30.

I wonder what the Democrats had to promise to get the Republicans to take the heat for tanking the deal that nobody ever believed would be honored in the first place?

Those triggers are a vestige of negotiations that didn’t work out. Even when they were still negotiating John McCain was out there saying they had no obligation to follow through on the defense cuts and the feckless Dems don’t want more massive cuts in discretionary programs in an election year with a fragile recovery. It was basically a ploy for that moment that allowed everyone to get out of the corners into which they’d painted themselves. It was never going to happen and I imagine they’re be happy to run extensions through the election.

The lame duck session is going to be very dangerous, however. That’s when the bad stuff usually happens and this time won’t be any different. If the congress is left more or less status quo, this will be where all the chits come due.

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