Continuing Resolutions so far have cut $10 billion from federal spending. But, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley has stepped forward with a budget proposal that would cut an additional $20 billion for the rest of this year. The proposal is close to the $35 billion in cuts initially offered by House Republican leaders. That level was balked at by party members so GOP leaders raised their offer to $61billion.
A House GOP leadership aide said any deal between the parties must cover not only the level of cuts, but some of the policy riders included in the House GOP bill funding the government for the rest of the year. Riders include provisions to defund the new healthcare law and the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases.
The strategy embraced by the White House and Senate Democrats appears designed to convince the public that Democrats are the ones being reasonable. It is intended to show the White House is meeting the GOP halfway. Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, blames what he calls Tea Party vigilantes in the House. According to Harkin, they seem to be getting close to making a deal, and then they check with the Tea Party and they say no, and that breaks down.