Sticking to funding levels already approved by Congress isn’t a “compromise”

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid

One of the lines frequently espoused by congressional Democrats as their Republican counterparts hammer them for their refusal to negotiate on the impasse that’s led to the government shutdown is that they’ve already compromised on funding the federal government.

“You know that our Members do not like the $988 billion [Continuing Resolution], most of them have dug in their heels to say they would never support the $988 billion,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said last week of mood in her conference. “But to open government that, in my opinion is a luxury we can’t afford on the side of the Democrats, or the Republicans, so we’re willing to compromise to accept their number.”

“The bill before the House represents a compromise by Democrats – a compromise it was very difficult for my caucus to accept,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) recently said from the floor of the upper chamber. “But now that Democrats have compromised, [House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)] won’t take yes for an answer.”

What these comments are referring to the tax-hike filled budget that the Senate passed back in March. The budget would’ve funded the government at $1.058 trillion, around $91 billion more than the spending levels set by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

This isn’t a compromise, folks.

The Budget Control Act (BCA) passed both the House of Representatives and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, including votes from Pelosi and Reid, and was signed into law by President Barack Obama.

This law, which is one of the greatest accomplishments for fiscal conservatives in years, set spending levels for FY 2014 at $967 billion. Democrats, however, have tried to reverse the sequester now that President Obama has disavowed the cuts he once so vigorously supported.

Of course, when it comes to ObamaCare, Democrats scream, “It’s the law!” But when it comes to BCA, they want to ignore it and pretend that the budget that passed the Senate earlier this year was the baseline, conveniently ignoring the law that Congress passed a little more than two years ago.

For all the complaints of Boehner “moving the goal posts,” as both Pelosi and Reid have complained, it certainly seems that they’re doing much of the same. Unfortunately, most Americans aren’t caught up on the minutiae of the budgetary matters or the details of the BCA.

To be fair, the $988 billion Continuing Resolution that is currently being debated in Congress ignores sequester limits by around $21 billion, as House Republicans put in more funding for defense.

Laws can be changed, whether it’s ObamaCare or the Budget Control Act. But for congressional Democrats to act as though they are making a compromise on funding levels is completely disingenuous to the process.


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