Government Shutdown: $5B Stands Between Democrats and Republicans

Congress continues to haggle while failing to reach a deal.

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Republicans and Democrats continue to battle and blame.

Paul Kane of the Washington Post is reporting that a 2011 budget deal seems to be elusive as Republicans and Democrats continue to haggle over $5 billion in differences. After weeks of negotiation, Congress has been unable to come to an agreement. A flurry of activity Thursday, including two Oval Office sit-downs with President Obama, did not close the gap or even cool the rhetoric. Each side continued to accuse the other of playing politics and of trying to force a government impasse.

Even though it appears to be imminent, people are still wondering if there will be a government shutdown. With no deal in sight, agencies began preparing more than 800,000 federal workers nationwide for that possibility, letting them know whether they should show up for work on Monday morning if a shutdown occurs. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) pushed for a deal that would include about $39 billion in spending cuts. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader, and Obama have pushed to keep the reductions to about $34 billion, aides in both parties said.

Kane says that privately, aides have said the disagreement is not about the amount of the cuts but where Tea Party members want the cuts to come from -- i.e., Medicare, public broadcasting and other social services.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Those who would rather shut down the government over ideological issues than accept an offer where significant cuts have been made in many areas don't seem to have the best interests of the country at heart. The Tea Party has declared war on the middle class and poor and want all cuts to affect those groups, even though many Tea Party members come from poor and middle-class backgrounds themselves. Is that hypocrisy or self-loathing?

Whatever the case, they shouldn't hold the country hostage because the cuts that they want aren't coming from the places they want. That is absurd and insane.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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