Budget Battle in a Message War

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BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN You're watching multisource U.S. news analysis from Newsy A little more than a we...
BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN You're watching multisource U.S. news analysis from Newsy A little more than a week until D-Day - but lawmakers are hinting at a stalemate in the months-long federal budget battle. KUSA: “...there is still some talk of a shutdown if Congress can't come up with a plan by April 8th.” ABC: “...brewing debate over the U.S. debt, deficits, the possibility of a government shutdown.” More than halfway through this fiscal year and still no federal budget. Lawmakers have passed a series of short-term temporary funding measures -- SIX of them so far -- to keep the government going. But House Republicans -- led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor -- are playing hard ball this time -- and saying -- no more temporary measures. (VIDEO FROM WAGA) Both sides are busy blaming each other for the potential shutdown. In fact - New York Democrat Chuck Schumer is facing some heat -- caught on camera outlining the left’s line of attack. ANCHOR: “Schumer was supposed to be on a conference call with reporters after he made the remarks but he was apparently unaware those reporters were already on the line.... SCHUMER: “I always used word extreme. That's what the caucus instructed me to do the other week. Extreme cuts and all these riders. And Boehner is in a box but if he supports the Tea Party, there's going to inevitably be a shutdown.” ANCHOR: “Hmmmmmmm...” But Republicans also have a plan to try winning in the court of public opinion. Commentator Dick Morris lays out that strategy on Fox News. “....if the Republicans shut down specific agencies, whole government will operate. We just won't build new highways. We won't give out foreign aid. We just won't give out inner city infrastructure repair money. Cut those specific programs and leave the rest of the government fine, then the Democrats will be blamed correctly...” Spin doctors are out on both sides - and if it feels more like a message war than a budget battle - Politico’s Meredith Shiner says that’s because it is -- and she points specifically to Cantor from the right -- and Schumer from the left. “Nevermind that a government shutdown is looming. … [T]he approach of these press operations is an extension of the two politicians themselves — ambitious, brash and obsessed with winning the message war on the most important issue before Congress.” So who’s actually gonna make this happen? Political reporter Molly Ball tells C-SPAN - both sides are under a lot of pressure from their rank-and-file not to concede. “There’s also a lot of pessimism out there. Democrats especially are not convinced that they will be able to find a compromise... The question is whether there is enough patience, especially on the Republican side, to continue to do this on a temporary basis. There is a lot of demands out there to get this settled in the long term.” With potential divisions between House Republican leadership and their more conservative members - The Washington Post says they’re turning to moderate Democrats for a proposal that would cut $30 billion from the budget. That’s HALF the cuts Tea Party-backed Republicans are demanding. “Such a deal probably would be acceptable to Senate leaders and President Obama as long as the House didn’t impose funding restrictions on certain social and regulatory programs... Speaker John A. Boehner’s leadership team recognizes that legislation that meets with approval from his most conservative flank ... would be dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate.” 'Like' Newsy on Facebook for updates in your news feed Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy
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