The possibility of a government shutdown looms larger today after yesterday's back-to-back meetings in Washington failed to bring a compromise. For the past week, House Republican leaders and Senate Democrat leaders have been discussing $33 billion in cuts, but John Boehner yesterday said he may seek up to $40 billion. Though his aides deflected those reports, Boehner also rejected the $33 billion figure, the Washington Post reports. The two sides must also come to an agreement on the $10 billion in one-time cuts Democrats want to make; another stumbling block is the policy riders Boehner wants to attach to the legislation.
Meanwhile, Boehner is warning his fellow Republicans that if the government shuts down, the Democrats "win." At a meeting of House Republicans last night, Boehner and dozens of other GOP lawmakers, some of whom served in Congress during the 1995 shutdowns, argued that those shutdowns "guaranteed President Clinton's reelection," as one rep tells Politico. "And that’s what this would do. If you want to cede the presidential race in 2012, you shut down the government." But Tea Party reps disagree, and want Boehner to insist on the full $61 billion spending cut package the House passed in February.