On Thursday and Friday, stocks exploded as optimism surged that a deal would soon be reached.
Then yesterday there was no progress. The day started with John Boehner telling the House GOP caucus that talks with The White House were broken down, and that there was a risk that Senate Republicans were working behind the House’s back to craft a deal with The White House.
Then, not long after that, Democrats rejected a way out put forth by Maine Senator Susan Collins, which would have locked in sequester-level spending and imposed a 2-year delay in the medical device tax that’s part of Obamacare.
The Democratic rejection came as a bit of a surprise to some folks, since it wouldn’t require a major cave, and it would have put House Republicans in a very tight spot (it would have “jammed” them to use the DC term).
Anyway, both sides are talking, but what seems clear is that polling that came out last week — especially a WSJ/NBC poll that came out Thursday night showing the GOP hitting an all-time low in approval — has emboldened Democrats to go for the complete victory on this.
“The parties have different views. We passed a budget of $US1.058 trillion and they passed one — the Ryan budget — [at] $US988 [billion],” Schumer said. “So that is a serious issue.”
Democrats’ stand over sequestration is a nice surprise for some progressive members who worried leadership would cave in this area. But instead, they were emboldened after polling showed them with the upper hand in budget fights. Democrats also noted that they, too, were concerned about the severity of the cuts.
At some point, the Democrats do need something the GOP can vote for, especially in The House. But the strong polling has clearly put the party in less of a mood to deal.
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