The Senate Majority Leader, who has just taken the GOP House Conservatives to the Mountain Top, is letting everyone know that entitlement cuts are NOT something he is favor of trading in next few months when the House and Senate sit down to work out a permeant Continuing Resolution and Budget ….If he HAS to go there ?…He’ll tax increases as an add-on (Something the GOPer’s are loath to embrace)
On the GOP side?
They have their Senate leader, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell already warning he will NOT entertain cuts in the Healthcare Law as reasons to go toe to toe with Reid….
Both these throw-downs are efforts to diminish the influence of the House Conservative Army in whipsawing House Speaker John Boehner, who BOTH guys just successfully bailed out politically against the hard right in HIS parties Civil War….
Reid’s hard lines — which were offered just hours after Wednesday night’s deal was signed into law — reflect an increased sense among Democrats that after a big shutdown victory, they are in a strong political position heading into the next crucial months of debt-reduction talks.
Reid noted that while the coming year of sequestration cuts — if fully implemented — would be painful, the worst of it will recede in coming years, as spending levels begin increasing automatically. That gives Democrats more leverage to say no to lopsided offers.
“I would like to suggest that maybe the Republicans aren’t too happy with next year’s sequestration. Who does it hurt, non-defense? I get an extra billion dollars this year compared to [last] year. Defense? They lose $23 billion,” Reid said, referring to the Pentagon. “So I would think there should be some people among the Republicans in the House and Senate who would say we should take a look at that.”
Two in particular, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have been adamant about addressing the effect sequestration is having on the military.
Reid also said that he would make sure to protect Social Security against attempts to trade cuts for sequestration relief, calling such a bargain “a stupid trade.”
“That’s no trade. We are going to affect entitlements so we can increase defense spending? Don’t check me for a vote there. I’m not interested in that,” he said.
“It is the most successful social program in the history of the world. The program is not about to go broke, so take it easy on Social Security,” Reid said.
President Obama made a similar commitment during a meeting with the Democratic Senate caucus last week, but added that if the Republican offer also included infrastructure money or investment in early childhood education, a major priority of Obama’s, it would at least be worth considering. The president added that he was open to reforms to Social Security Disability Insurance.
If Republicans want to trim Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, Reid said, they’d have to give on tax revenue in exchange. Asked specifically if the deal must be revenue for entitlements, he said: “Yes, and we call it mandatories.”
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