Deal? 39 billion in cuts? (Update: Politico says there's a deal Update: PP rider is in the deal)
If this is legit, I'm getting a profound sense of "meh."
Numerous GOP and Democratic sources on and off Capitol Hill tell National Journal that the outline of the deal is as follows: up to $39 billion in cuts from the 2010 budget, $514 billion in spending for the defense budget covering the remainder of this fiscal year, a GOP agreement to abandon controversial policy riders dealing with Planned Parenthood and the EPA, and an agreement to pass a “bridge” continuing resolution late Friday night to keep the government operating while the deal is written in bill form.
$39 billion is not much up against a deficit that's in the trillions. It's a move in the right direction, away from total runaway spending, but the goalposts have a few miles yet to move before any of this really matters. And contrary to what some folks might be thinking regarding the whole Planned Parenthood aspect of the debate, social discretionary spending is in some ways a test of politicians' seriousness on the larger issue of spending as a whole. Entitlement spending is the big game, but if pols don't have the guts to touch the small discretionary stuff, they surely won't have the guts to deal with the major entitlements.
I don't see this episode as a surrender on the part of the GOP if the deal as described above turns out to be the outcome. It's more a win than a loss, but it's not a clean win and it's not heartening in light of the major spending problems that are left unsolved.
Update: Politico says there's a deal. And again, meh. The federal government's spending spree has set off a five-alarm fire, but so far everyone's showing up to fight it with dimestore squirt guns.
Update: Boehner didn't give in on the DC abortion funding ban after all.