A new bipartisan budget deal was just announced this past Tuesday. The basic premise of the deal is to fund the government and avoid any partial shutdowns for the next two fiscal years leading up to the 2016 elections.
Fiscal conservatives are obviously up in arms about the fact that some of the sequester cuts are being rolled back over the course of the next two years to the tune of $63 billion. However, since the original sequester was for $85 billion, it seems that the fiscal conservatives are still getting something out of the deal.
The real genius of the deal is in the impact it will have on the 2014 mid-term elections.
As I had mentioned in an earlier article, shutting down the government did not poll well with ordinary Americans. With this deal, the government will be fully funded and operational for two years, which eliminates the chance of Democrats campaigning on “the sequester costing jobs” (even though that was actually by Obama’s mandate to make it “hurt” as much as possible).
Instead, Republicans can claim to be the party that is intent on working for all Americans. They have brokered a deal – not Obama, who once again sat on the sidelines taking “selfies” at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service – and showed the capability to govern a country that has been torn apart by Democratic partisanship for the past five years.
When the Republicans passed this bill in the House, they have once again done something neither Obama nor Harry Reid has done since 2009 – passed an actual budget. The major difference is that this one already has a Democrat as a co-sponsor in the Senate.
Republicans can lay claim to owning this deal while Obama and Reid can do nothing but nod and rubber stamp it. Otherwise, they will be the ones to shut down the government in January. They will be the ones to continue the sequester “that will costs jobs.” If the deal actually does reduce the deficit by $20-$23 billion, then that is a step in the right direction (albeit a small one), which fiscal conservatives need to be onboard with.
In terms of the political genius of this deal, the Republicans have a chance to remove a campaign issue and still get a small reduction in the deficit at the same time. This deal allows Republicans to focus the mid-term elections on Obamacare, which is the gift that keeps on giving. Finally, if this deal is a springboard to the Republicans re-taking the Senate while maintaining control of the House, it will put Obama in a box focusing on defending Obamacare until the end of his presidency.
So for that, Paul Ryan, I say thank you!