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As Budget Cut Details Emerge, Watch for Revolt

“During this historical economic downturn with record levels of unemployment, Republican leaders in the House, Democratic leaders in the Senate and President Obama are keeping the government open on the backs of the poor and disenfranchised…” — Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. of Illinois

Look for fire and brimstone this week as the details of another White House deal emerge. It’s hard to discover exactly what the Democrats have to cheer about after Fridays, Obama-Boehner-Reid deal to get a budget together for the next six months and avoid a government shutdown.  There were 17 black members who voted against continuing to fund the government until this Thursday at midnight as a the details of a deal to fund the government s worked out.  From that negotiation, a President bragging about the “largest budget cut in history emerged.” The President then appeared at the Lincoln Memorial to so there could be photos taken of him triumphantly informing tourists that their visit to the landmark occurred because of the grand virtues of compromise.  Meanwhile, members of the CBC have their eye on their constituents as specifics slowly come out regarding what exactly will be cut over the next six months as part of what Obama, Boehner and Reid agreed to on Friday.

Jackson

“I look forward to carefully reviewing the details to ensure that the burden does not solely fall on the shoulders of our nation’s most vulnerable communities. The CBC is committed to responsibly reducing the deficit but not at the expense of our Seniors, education, or our family’s health care,” said CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver in a statement on Friday.

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. of Illinois, went further, he was glad the government did not shutdown, but late Friday in a statement he asserted that, “the people paying the $39 billion price tag to keep the government open did nothing to cause the economic predicament in which we find ourselves. Yet the very people who negotiated tonight’s deal are the same people who rewarded the most fortunate in our society with over $800 billion in tax cuts last December. The $39 billion in cuts is nothing to cheer, it is a pyrrhic victory that will have real consequences. While I have not seen the final bill, I am worried that we will see cuts to WIC, cuts to Community Health Centers, cuts to LIHEAP, cuts to international disaster assistance, cuts to Head Start and cuts to Pell Grants.”

The details of the Obama-Boehner-Reid deal in the form of legislation should be out sometime late tonight. Seventy members in all voted against continuing to fund the government until Thursday night. Translation: They voted to shut the government down in protest of the Obama-Boehner-Reid deal.  They were joined by 26 Republicans. There are 192 Democrats in the House. Ultimately, the vote that comes before Thursday is a vote for or against “the largest budget cut in history,” so casting a NO vote could be risky unless you can explain why.  Then again, for the CBC, explaining this vote could be relatively easy given the cuts that are likely to hit their district over the next 6 month and in the Ryan Budget to be voted on after that later in the week.