By Alexander Bolton -The Hill
Senate Democrats conceded Tuesday that House Republicans won round one of the budget fight, but they are vowing a bigger battle later this month.
Anticipating that showdown, Senate Democratic leaders are scrambling to unify their caucus as their colleagues express starkly different opinions on the best strategy to pursue.
Centrists who are facing tough reelections in Republican-leaning states want to support additional spending cuts for the rest of the fiscal year. Some are more willing to accept reductions to social programs than to defense and agriculture programs.
Disappointed and boxed-in Democratic senators suggested Tuesday they would win â€” next time.
â€œThe real battle is to come with the next, the long-term [spending resolution], the next time. Thatâ€™s going to be the battleground,â€ said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a senior member of the Appropriations Committee with jurisdiction over education, labor and health programs.
A Democratic senator who attended a Tuesday conference lunch said colleagues â€œventedâ€ over cuts in the House bill.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) bashed Republican calls to cut the women, infants, children (WIC) health and nutrition program, according to a Democratic source familiar with the closed-door discussion. She distributed fliers to other Democratic senators that listed arguments against the GOP proposal. The WIC cuts are not in the stopgap measure approved by the House on Tuesday.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) spoke out against cuts to Planned Parenthood and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) argued against cuts to the Army Corps of Engineers that she said would stall crucial water projects in California and around the country, according to a Democratic source.
But not all Democrats were that upset with the Houseâ€™s actions.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who will likely face a tough reelection race in 2012, said she â€œdoes not have a problemâ€ with the House GOPâ€™s spending bill.
Given the views of McCaskill and other centrists, liberals worry that Democratic leaders will roll over and accept another deal on Republican terms in an attempt to bolster the reelection chances of vulnerable incumbents in red states.
They fear a reprise of last December when Obama and Republican leaders agreed to a tax-cut deal that was widely panned by the left.
Don’t let the MSM censor your news as America becomes Great Again. Over 500,000 Americans receive our daily dose of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness along with Breaking News direct to their inbox—and you can too. Sign up to receive news and views from The 1776Coalition!
We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.