As we await the news of the deal to avert the shutdown, let’s review what happened today.
We knew that both sides agreed to cuts in the ballpark of $30-$40 billion in cuts, but that the GOP were insisting on riders concerning EPA regulations and funding (or defunding) Planned Parenthood (and evidence that the EPA riders reflected good ol’ lobbyist influence).
Around 1 pm, the women of the Senate held a press conference where they swore before God and Everybody that they wouldn’t throw PP under the bus, like the GOP was trying to do.
Later that afternoon, the GOP House ladies held their press conference where they insisted this wasn’t about PP, women’s health, abortion or any other damn thing, it was about cutting government spending! Spending! Spending! Awk! Spending!
No-0ne bought it.
We all entered the dinner hour (or rather, those of us that don’t have lives, entered the dinner hour) checking our blackberries (rendered illegal if used by federal employees once the gov’t shuts down) and our iPhones to see if a deal had been reached.
Rumors abounded; hopes were raised then dashed; one frustrated reporter tweeted, “How about we just designate one reporter to tweet about whether or not a deal’s been reached and everyone else starts drinking?” Finally, a little after 9 pm, the birthday boy @chucktodd tweeted that the negotiators had reached a deal, but that the respective conferences had to approve it, and that Planned Parenthood had been bought with a further $1 billion cut, which put the total cuts at about $37-$38 billion.
As the Bitch writes, the GOP Conference is meeting to review the deal, which may or may not include a three-day extention; BreakingNews.com is tweeting that John Boehner has told the conference “this is the best deal we can get out of them,” and “we are very close.”
Let’s be very clear on what went on here: the GOP, indignantly claiming “concern” for the country’s overspending, targeted discretionary spending (that only totals 1% of the total budget) and includes things like Title X and Planned Parenthood, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, etc., because they believe these programs run contrary to traditional GOP values. This was never about money; it’s about using the budget process to achieve policy that can’t be achieved legislatively. It’s smoke and mirrors; it’s lying, and the Bitch hates, hates, hates Lying Liars that Lie.