Ryan is among the many politicians who donít expect the White House talk of a ďbalancedĒ plan requiring new revenue as part of a long-term budget blueprint that would replace the sequester and tackle the nationís long-term debt challenges is doable.
Grand bargains are out. Tax hikes are out. Short-term and stopgap solutions are very much in.
Thatís the reality in Washington this week, as budget conferees meet for the first time Wednesday to try to hammer out a deal.
Publicly, the White House and top Democrats are still talking about a ďbalancedĒ plan requiring new revenue as part of a long-term budget blueprint that would replace the sequester and tackle the nationís long-term debt challenges.
The focus instead will be on forging a deal that can replace some of the sequester spending cuts ó perhaps for just a year or two ó and un-sticking the mess that has become the annual appropriations process.
Both sides have at least some incentive to get a deal. An agreement would give Republicans a chance to change the post-shutdown political narrative that they canít govern. And with big defense cuts kicking in come January, Republican hawks are already pressuring their leaders to find a way out.
Democrats and the White House, meanwhile, have been chafing as the presidentís agenda has been squeezed by both the sequester and a gridlocked Congress. If they give in on taxes in a short-term deal, would they settle for one of the unfinished Obama agenda items that has been going nowhere in this Congress, such as a minimum-wage hike, infrastructure spending or universal preschool?
Without revenue or other incentives, getting the Democratic votes needed to pass a compromise budget could prove difficult.
ďItís impossible to say yet if anything not including revenue would get enough support from Senate Democrats to pass,Ē one senior aide said.
President Barack Obama has been newly open to a short-term sequester fix that doesnít include a tax hike. Politico reported that he told Republican senators at the White House that he wouldnít insist on a tax increase in such a deal.
And he has taken to saying lately that any ďlong termĒ deal would have to include revenue, leaving open the question of what to do in the short term.
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.