Monday, April 4, 2011

A House Divided

Last week, the Tea Party came back to Washington. They rallied to express their outrage over government spending and Congress’s inability to reach agreement on the budget. Rep. Michelle Bachman (MN-6), now weighing a presidential run in 2012, addressed the crowd of about 200 people.

With a government shutdown seeming more likely, some policymakers have re-termed it as a government ‘slowdown’. And when this was mentioned at the rally, many in the crowd cheered the idea of the government shutting its doors.

But the Tea Party represents just one ideological faction that has come to be affiliated with Republican Party and they have brought their own unique approach to the budget debate. Some have openly advocated for a government shutdown, believing that to be an effective means to reducing government spending.

House Republican leadership is currently in the process of finalizing a budget for the coming fiscal year. However, several Republicans have indicated that this forthcoming budget is not sufficient to address government spending. In fact, the Republican Study Committee, a group of 175 House Republicans, announced its plan to release a so called ‘rogue budget.’ As you might have guessed, this document would cut spending at a much higher rate than the plan released by the House leadership.

In essence, there are three Republican factions within the House that have differing visions for the future of the federal government. When the House Budget Committee releases its plan for FY 2012 tomorrow, the debate will be renewed. Where do you stand?

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