As pictures of union-directed mobs roaming over the Wisconsin state house represent a ratcheting up of a national Democratic political challenge to Republican governors, the specter of a Washington showdown over government spending grew exponentially within the last 24 hours.
The March 4 deadline for continued funding of the federal government approaches and the heat in Washington is rising. It is clear Democrats are bruising for a national fight over spending.
Yesterday House Speaker John Boehner made it clear he would not accept another temporary fix in the federal budget that did not include major cuts. According to Politico, his comments “triggered an immediate and fierce response from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who ramped up a cross-chamber fight Democrats have been waging against House Republicans for weeks over whether the GOP spending-cut demands could culminate in a shutdown on March 4, the date the government runs out of money. ‘”
As House leaders have repeatedly noted, only Democrats have been talking about shutting down the government, not Republicans. But it appears Democrats are in the mood for a showdown that they hope will change the political calculus in their favor.
In the last day there has been a lot of talk from Democrats of a “bare knuckles fight” and a “raw veto fight” between Republicans and the White House.
Meanwhile, according to Politico’s Dave Rogers, in the House “appropriations Committee clerks have been instructed to begin drafting a bill [for] a government-wide hard freeze.”