2011 Budget Deal Elusive As GOP Policy Riders Threaten Progress
With the high-stakes negotiations currently at an impasse, the differences among the GOP, Democrats and the White House involve more than just the total dollar figure attached to spending cuts. It also involves controversial "policy riders." Meanwhile, without resolution, a government shutdown is just hours away.
The Washington Post: Both Parties Continue Talks Over Elusive 2011 Deal
Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill say they are about $5 billion apart in their haggling to reach a deal to fund the federal government for the rest of the year (Kane, 4/7).
Los Angeles Times: Republican Policy Demands Threaten Budget Talks
The federal budget stalemate that stands to trigger a government shutdown shifted Thursday from a debate over spending cuts to a fight over the thorny policy issues of abortion and environmental regulation that have divided Democrats and Republicans for years (Mascaro and Parsons, 4/8).
Politico: Government Shutdown Won't Stop Health Law Implementation
Implementation of the health reform law will not stop if there is a government shutdown, an HHS official says. "If it's funded by mandatory spending in the Affordable Care Act, implementation can continue," the official said. However, regulation writing would likely be "significantly hindered" because those staff salaries are funded by discretionary dollars (Feder, 4/8).
Politico: GOP Faces Difficult Defunding Choice
House Republicans are facing a tough choice in the budget talks: Is it more important to them to defund Planned Parenthood, or is it more important to shut off funds to the health care law? They've put a lot of time and energy into both sets of riders, but they're not likely to get both of them. In fact, they may not get either one, given how strongly President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are insisting that none of them should be in the final agreement (Nather, 4/7).
Politico: In Past, Democrats Embraced Policy Riders
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and President Barack Obama hate policy riders. They have no place in spending bills, the top Democrats have said during the latest budget debate. Unless, of course, they're Democratic policy riders (Allen, 4/7).
The Washington Post: Some Republican 'Riders' Could Be Deal-Breakers For Democrats
The impasse that threatens to lead to a government shutdown is not simply about the federal budget. Some of the sticking points relate to policy and have been attached to the budget as "riders." On Thursday, a few GOP policy proposals emerged as possible deal-breakers for Democrats, as leaders sought to reach an agreement that would keep Washington operating (Somashekhar, 4/7).
Kaiser Health News: Policy Riders And Spending Debate Fueling Govt. Shutdown Fears
KHN's Karl Eisenhower and Stephanie Stapleton detail examples of some of the policy riders that now may be in play by reviewing the riders that were included in H.R. 1, the 2011 budget bill passed by the House in February (4/7).