Some Senate Republicans are pushing an interesting idea on how to deal with the budget sequester: Rolling it into the next continuing resolution that will be needed to fund the government after March 27. As Politico reports:
That leaves the focus on the March government spending fight. Following the Senate votes Thursday, some Republicans said they are open to passing an omnibus spending plan that would include funding for all agencies, but at lower levels than the $1.043 trillion sought by Democrats.
“We got this window by the 27th where the government is going to shut down without a CR,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). “Wouldn’t it be better just to do an omnibus where the appropriators have weighed in and made reductions to the $974 [billion] level?” at which the sequester funds agencies.
“I think that’s going to be the opportunity for those of us who want some relief for some flexibility for the Defense Department,” Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Thursday of the next round of fiscal talks.
Would Democrats agree to it? The problem from their perspective is that it could work too well. After spending the last few weeks calling the sequester cuts a pending apocalypse, trimming the CR here and there to absorb the cuts with minimal pain would real their campaign to be phony scare tactics.
On the other hand, the Democrats’ plan on the sequester all along was simply to get the GOP to cave. They failed and now have no more time left. They may decide that they are better off doing what they can to mitigate the cuts. They could even use the CR as an opportunity to “declare victory and go home.”