Their negotiations have teetered erratically on the brink of collapse for weeks. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner have finally shaken hands on a spending bill to fund the government through September and avoid a government shutdown.Emphasis mine.
"We have agreed to an historic amount of cuts for the remainder of this fiscal year, as well as a short-term bridge that will give us time to avoid a shutdown while we get that agreement through both houses and to the President," read a joint statement from both leaders. "We will cut $78.5 billion below the President's 2011 budget proposal, and we have reached an agreement on the policy riders. In the meantime, we will pass a short-term resolution to keep the government running through Thursday. That short-term bridge will cut the first $2 billion of the total savings."
Despite the violent sturm und drang surrounding these negotiations -- including familiar, but tired accusations by Republicans of Democratic infidelity to U.S. troops -- the final deal looks uncannily like the framework the two sides have been working with since the middle of March.
It includes cuts to both mandatory and discretionary spending, and does not include a rider that would have defunded Planned Parenthood -- the final sticking point in the negotiations. A separate measure to prevent the city of Washington from paying for abortions with its tax revenues survived. Republicans have also been promised votes in the Senate on riders to defund Planned Parenthood and health care implementation.
So. Not only is the US government pursuing an austerity strategy, which is a terrible idea in every conceivable way, and will fail to stimulate growth while simultaneously creating a greater strain on underfunded social programs, but this "success" has come at the expense of women's reproductive rights.
Gee, I'm beginning to detect a trend.
Meanwhile, as Echidne points out, the president's speech following the agreement framed women's reproductive rights as a "social issue," which is straight-up Republican framing.
We've sure come a long way (no we haven't) from Barack the Feminist (LULZ). I guess he's just one of those "pragmatic feminists" who understands that sometimes women's reproductive rights need to get thrown under the bus in order to make way for Important Democratic Politics, like empowering the most rightwing elements in the Republican Party.
To understand how thoroughly the Dems caved to the GOP on this deal, it was struck with "historic" cuts about which that nincompoop Reid is actually bragging, as if misogyny, Social Darwinism, and allowing infrastructure to fester until people die on collapsing bridges are radically brave progressive ideas.
Obama's a fucking disaster. We needed FDR; instead we got FML.