Budget Talks Going Nowhere

With the budget deadline fast approaching, things in Washington are getting frostier: President Obama rejected Republican lawmakers’ proposed short-term budget solution, telling them to “sort it out” now rather than keep negotiating temporary plans. Faced with the first government shutdown since 1995, Washington was in supercharged mode Tuesday as lawmakers frantically conducted meetings, and House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reported a “productive discussion” with Obama. Meanwhile, federal agencies were being briefed on how to react to a shutdown, with the White House issuing contingency plans. After weeks of calling for $33 billion in spending cuts, Boehner formally rejected the Democrats’ offer and instead pushed for $40 billion in reductions. Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) continued his crusade against government spending Tuesday, unveiling a budget for fiscal year 2012 that calls for a staggering $6.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years and would radically overhaul Medicare and Medicaid.