President Obama and Congressional Democrats are close to a big win as progress is being made on a two-year budget deal that would raise the debt limit and force a major cave from Congressional Republicans.
House Republicans will meet in closed session Monday night, as congressional negotiators and the White House near a two-year budget deal that would boost defense and domestic spending by tens of billions of dollars, and lift the debt ceiling until March 2017.
The ambitious accord, which is being negotiated by top House, Senate and White House officials, would boost defense and non-defense spending by $50 billion next year, and $30 billion the year after, split evenly between defense and non-defense programs. Negotiations are fluid, however, and details might change before legislation is filed. House Republicans are expected to discuss the proposal at their evening meeting.
The deal would give President Obama and Congressional Democrats everything that they wanted. The sequester cuts would be removed. Spending would increase. The debt ceiling would be raised for two years, and there would be no government shutdowns for the next two years.
Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell want this deal because they can’t trust their own party not to screw up and cost the GOP any chances that they might have of winning in 2016. By taking the debt limit crisis and government shutdown threats off of the table, the Republican leaders hope to clear the decks for both likely new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and the party’s 2016 presidential nominee.
Boehner and McConnell already know that a majority of Republicans will not support the deal, so they are going to have to rely on the crisis-busting coalition of Republican leadership and Democrats to get the agreement passed in both the House and the Senate.
If this agreement becomes a reality, it will represent a major victory both for President Obama and Congressional Democrats.
For years, Republicans have been living in a fantasy world where they believed that if they created a big enough crisis, President Obama would cave. However, when Obama vetoed the NDAA last week, he forced Republicans to blink.
A two-year budget agreement that raises the debt ceiling would end the crisis politics in DC, and give President Obama one of the biggest wins of his presidency. The deal isn’t done yet, but if it happens it will be the ultimate Republican cave.