As Congress continues to shape a new budget, time is of the essence. Current funding for the federal government runs out on March 4, and if a budget can’t pass both the GOP-controlled House and the Democratically controlled Senate in time, a stopgap funding measure may be required. But it better not maintain spending at current levels, Speaker of the House John Boehner declared today, promising that unless the short-term funding bill cuts spending, it won’t get a vote in the House. “When we say we’re going to cut spending, read my lips: We’re going to cut spending,” Boehner told reporters.
So are we headed for an impasse, and consequently, a government shutdown? Maybe! Maybe both parties don’t think that’s such a bad thing. The last time this happened, in 1995, the GOP was widely blamed and Bill Clinton’s popularity soared. This time around, who knows? Perhaps Boehner’s stand will seem noble and necessary. People seem to be pretty keen on cutting the budget lately, we’ve noticed.