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Despite Tea Party 'Screaming in GOP Ears,' Boehner Signals Compromise on Budget Cuts


Boehner v. Reid v. Bachmann

Just as the tea partiers were protesting in Washington DC today, demanding that the GOP not compromise on spending cuts, House Speaker John Boehner implied that he was open to such compromise.

According to the AP:

Despite fresh pressure from tea party conservatives, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that Republicans "can't impose our will" on the White House and Senate Democrats on legislation to cut tens of billions of dollars in federal spending.

At a news conference, Boehner, R-Ohio, denied Democratic suggestions that he has already agreed to jettison nearly half of the $61 billion in cuts passed by the House a month ago.

But as was the case with Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., earlier in the week, he did not say the demand to reduce spending by the full $61 billion was non-negotiable. "Our goal is to cut spending, not shut down the government," he said.

The government is running on the second of two short-term spending bills, and at the insistence of Republicans, a total of $10 billion has been cut so far.

Without action by Congress, the money will run out on April 9. Lawmakers are seeking a compromise that will extend to the Sept. 30 end of the spending year.

Senior House and Senate aides, experts in the intricacies of spending legislation, met during the day to explore a possible compromise.

Yet officials in both parties said Democrats had not yet provided Republicans with a detailed list of their proposed cuts, an indication that negotiations were not far along.

Democratic officials added that some of their proposed reductions would cut $3 billion or so from the Pentagon budget. The House-passed legislation calls for an increase in defense spending, and reserves spending cuts for domestic programs.

Boehner spoke as tea party activists demonstrated within shouting distance of the Capitol and a pair of potential GOP presidential contenders injected themselves into the first big test for the GOP majority elected last fall.

Harry Reid almost sounded sympathetic to John Boehner's plight. "I'm sure it's not easy to negotiate with the tea party screaming in their ears."

Meanwhile, at the Tea Party rally held in Washington DC today, which The Blaze reported on here, Michele Bachmann said that Harry Reid is trying to scapegoat the tea party for the government shutdown. "Harry Reid thinks you're the problem," she told the cheering tea party crowd. "I think those cowboy poetry festivals are the problem." What cowboy poetry festival? You'll have to click here to find out.

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