By Bernie Becker, Erik Wasson and Vicki Needham - 04/07/11 11:24 PM EDT
With little more than a day left until the government runs out of funding, what happens from here on out could determine whether Boehner or Obama has the upper hand in bigger fights over the debt limit and 2012 budget.
And with the public paying more and more attention to what is now a months-long spending spat, it can be tough to know exactly how much leaders’ public statements reveal about what’s happening behind closed doors.
In some of the latest action, House Republicans passed a one-week spending bill that cuts $12 billion in non-military spending over one week, which also included a provision prohibiting funding for abortions and was slapped with a veto threat from the White House.
Meanwhile, according to Roll Call, Senate Democrats are preparing to offer their own short-term continuing resolution if tonight’s talks aren’t fruitful.
For their part, Democrats have said that riders that strip funding for Planned Parenthood and rein in the Environmental Protection Agency are a major hang-up.
But on the other side of the aisle, Republicans have denied that claim — and said the size of the cuts from the budget are still in dispute. (The latest Capitol Hill chatter puts that figure at somewhere between $33 billion and $40 billion.)
WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR:
What about the staffers?: With all the Thursday talk about whether lawmakers would forgo their pay in a shutdown, Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) — who both represent their fair share of federal staffers — introduced a bill that would make certain that those employees get retroactive pay if the government closes up shop.
Federal employees did get retroactive pay during the mid-'90s shutdowns, but Moran, who is hosting a town hall in his district right across the Potomac River tonight, did not sound too optimistic about his measure’s chances this time around.
Perhaps timely: The Brookings Institution is set to hold a Friday event titled “Congressional Leadership in an Era of Partisan Polarization,” featuring both a former Democratic congressman (Dan Glickman of Kansas) and ex-Republican senator (Bob Bennett of Utah).
— The Census Bureau is set to release wholesale trade data.
Talking trade: President Obama and Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian president, formally announced their plan to move a trade pact between the U.S. and the South American country forward on Thursday, our Kevin Bogardus and Sam Youngman report. Colombia agreed to an “action plan” to help shield union members from violence, which has been a sticking point in negotiations. But organized labor and its friends here — such as Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) — are still expected to be skeptical of the pact.
For his part, Jim Hoffa, the Teamsters president, said the action plan was in the right spirit, but didn’t go far enough.
Shelter from the storm: Bloomberg Businessweek examines how the richest taxpayers among us use a variety of methods to lessen their IRS bill. (The Los Angeles Dodgers owner, for instance, didn’t pay federal or state income taxes for a sizable portion of the last decade.)
For what it’s worth: The 15 House Democrats who voted for the one-week spending measure included top members of the Blue Dog Coalition (Reps. Mike Ross of Arkansas, Heath Shuler of North Carolina, John Barrow of Georgia and Dan Boren of Oklahoma).
Two of the six Republicans who voted no — Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Steve King of Iowa — had earlier vowed not to back any continuing resolution that did not defund the healthcare overhaul.
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
On the Money’s Thursday:
Conservative House group does Paul Ryan’s budget around $3 trillion better …
While Democrats say Ryan is trying to suffocate Dodd-Frank.
Barney Frank and Spencer Bachus continue to squabble …
While Frank gives an FDIC prediction.
CBO: The deficit keeps going up …
But a rating agency doesn’t think the U.S. will default on its debt.
Ron Wyden, Dan Coats press for tax reform …
While Ways and Means gets set to talk it up next week.
Rand Paul would ensure some funding in a shutdown (military pay) and keep others out (healthcare overhaul).
And initial jobless claims fall again.
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