GOP moves to force Dem decision on shutdown 

House Republicans united around a one week spending bill yesterday, that believe will inoculate them from voter anger should the government shut down this weekend. Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), both of whom had signaled earlier that they would not support another short-term spending bill, separately said they would support a leadership plan that would keep the government funded for another week, cut spending by $12 billion from FY 2010 levels, and fully fund the Department of Defense through the end of this fiscal year.

The endorsements came after the White House warned that a government shutdown would mean no paychecks for soldiers fighting overseas. If the House manages to pass the their temporary spending measure today, the ball will clearly be in Majority Leader Harry Reid’s court: allow a vote in the Senate to keep out fighting men and women fully paid on time for the rest of the year, or shutdown the government.

Reid instantly recognized the bind he had been put in, taking to the Senate floor he denounced the “stalling” and “procrastinating” by House Republicans. Reid began: “This budget that we have spent so much time talking about is really about making tough choices, hard choices, difficult choices. The American people understand this.”

Reid hopes the American people will forget that it is the Democrats who have failed to make the tough choices. First, the Democrats failed to even vote on a budget for this fiscal year. Then, they passed, count them, four temporary spending bills of their own before Speaker John Boehner was ever sworn into office. Finally, once they did finally hold a vote on the House budget, the Democratic bill received less votes (42) than the Republican bill did (44).

With Americans firmly against a government shutdown, it is Reid who now has the tough choice to make.

Must Reads:

Wall Street Jounal/NBC News poll: An interesting blind question: “NOT thinking about any specific candidates, I'm going to list several types of people who might run for president. For each one, please tell me whether that type of candidate is someone you would (a) be enthusiastic about, (b) be comfortable with, (c) have some reservations about, or (d) be very uncomfortable with.” The least popular? “A person who has had a career as a lobbyist” with 48% very uncomfortable, “A FOX News commentator” 38%, and “A leader of the Tea Party Movement” 36%.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: With just 204 votes separating them, Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg declared victory Wednesday, over incumbent David Prosser. This proxy fight over WI Gov. Scott Walker’s government union collective bargaining bill is destined for first a recount and then a court battle. Adding even more tension to the mix: allegations of voter fraud.

The New York Times: Last week Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) took to the Senate floor and accused all those voting against ethanol subsidies of endangering American troops by increasing dependence on foreign oil. This NYT story is a firm counter to that claim noting that biofuels, like ethanol, are driving up food prices and spreading instability worldwide. With candidates like Newt Gingrich already on the record in favor of ethanol subsidies and mandates, this will be a fertile ground for a policy fight in the primary.

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