Looks like a government shutdown has been avoided—for two weeks, at least. Democrats responded favorably last night to a Republican plan for a temporary, two-week extension that would allow the government to continue operating. The trade-off? It also requires a first installment of $4 billion in budget cuts to be made. For each additional week talks continue past the new deadline of March 18, another $2 billion in cuts will be required.
Democrats were initially unhappy about the plan, devised by John Boehner, claiming he is simply chipping away at the GOP’s desired $60 billion in spending cuts while holding the government hostage. But the first $4 billion in cuts are among the least painful—many actually come from President Obama’s own budget proposals—making it easier for Democrats to embrace the idea. Amusingly, some are even taking credit, Politico notes: “The plan Republicans are floating today sounds like a modified version of what Democrats were talking about,” said a spokesman for Harry Reid. “We’re glad they think it’s a good idea.”