Perhaps afraid of tarnishing their hard-earned obstructionist cred, congressional Republicans look like they're heating up for another big fight over the budget. Tea Party legislators are pushing a plan that would cap agency appropriations at almost $20 billion below the $1.047 trillion limit agreed to last August as part of the Budget Control Act. This cap is already substantial and will force cuts or freeze spending in many government agencies—imagining Congress trying to agree on where to shave off an additional $20 billion the federal budget is headache-inducing. But with the government continuing to run $1 trillion-plus deficits, fiscal conservatives are hungry for an opportunity to take a symbolic stand.
House Budget Committee Republicans are meeting today to discuss their options for the 2013 budget, and Republican House Appropriations chairman Hal Rogers is still committed to the agreed target and may be able to force the more intractable elements of his party to acquiesce. The Republicans still clamoring for a lower target may decide to back out of this likely unwinnable fight anyway. Forcing a government shutdown a month before November isn't the best election strategy.
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Chart of the Day
Red states have been hurt far worse by rising gas prices than blue states. Not because the gas is more expensive—red states win on the cheap gas front—but because vehicles in red states tend to be less efficient, and people need to travel more by car in rural areas.
Reason to Get Out of Bed in the Morning
The Occupy movement just rolled out a new video game, which made its debut at a protest in Oakland, where Occupiers dragged "the awkward cabinet along with them like ants shuttling weighty foodstuff."