Throughout the shutdown negotiation, I have looked at the moves as I would any labor negotiation. That’s essentially what it is, an effort to strike a deal to avoid a work stoppage. And as I’ve gone, sources on the Hill have confirmed my observations. Now I think it is safe to say a deal is near.
How do we know? Fifteen Republican congresswomen, including Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Mary Bono Mack (Calif.) and Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) gave a presser urging a deal. Michele Bachmann is urging a deal, as are conservative stalwarts Sens. Pat Toomey (Penn.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) and pro-life advocate Mike Hucakbee. The message is the same: It is about the money.
All along, Boehner, as I’ve reported, has kept his caucus on board and convinced them he’d leave nothing on the table. Meanwhile, he’s been getting Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to “buy” the riders with more spending cuts. Remember, this is all in the context of the Democrats demanding in February that there be no more cuts.
Guess what? It’s worked. Boehner has been tested, and unless something goes awry he’s going to come out looking like a rose.