The agreement to pass $4 billion in spending cuts and table far more draconian spending cuts for a while has forestalled the threat of a government shutdown for another two weeks.
That may have Washington breathing a temporary sigh of relief, but it doesn’t leave lawmakers or the White House with a whole lot of time to maneuver and negotiate. Neither Democrats nor Republicans seem particularly eager to precipitate the kind of temporary government shutdown that precipitated a huge backlash among voters in the mid-90s.
The stopgap spending measure will keep the government churning along for a while, and President Obama reportedly plans to appoint his No. 2, Vice President Biden, to broker the talks between the two parties so they can reach a deal on a longer-term budget, perhaps through the end of the year.
The demands to cut the budget deficit are not going away anytime soon, but we can only hope that cooler heads will continue to prevail amid the fraught deal-making and posturing over the budget in the weeks ahead.