Government shutdown 2011 avoided with 11th-hour budget deal
Approaching a midnight deadline Friday night, House, Senate, and Obama administration came to agreement on a budget, avoiding a government shutdown. But tough political fights remain.
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Still, Obama is the nation’s chief executive charged with running the departments of government, and his job performance “has remained mostly stagnant since late February,” according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Friday. Just 46 percent of those surveyed gave him an “A” or “B” grade on job performance. A shutdown certainly wouldn’t have improved his standing with voters, nor would it have helped his recently-announced reelection bid.
"The largest spending cut in history"
In a statement shortly after the budget agreement was reached, Obama called it “the largest annual spending cut in our history.”
“Like any worthwhile compromise, both sides had to make tough decisions and give ground on issues that were important to them. And I certainly did that,” Obama said.
“Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful. Programs people rely on will be cut back. Needed infrastructure projects will be delayed. And I would not have made these cuts in better circumstances,” he said. “But beginning to live within our means is the only way to protect those investments that will help America compete for new jobs – investments in our kids’ education and student loans; in clean energy and life-saving medical research. We protected the investments we need to win the future.”
“As you all know, this has been a loud discussion and a long fight,” House Speaker John Boehner said in announcing the agreement. “But we fought to keep government spending down because it really will, in fact, help create a better environment for job creators in our country.”
By most accounts, Boehner finishes this critical stage in the government spending process in a stronger political position.
“In the end, Boehner got far more than he gave up, and far more than Obama, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid and the Democrats were initially willing to offer,” write John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman at Politico.com. “It sets the stage for a stronger hand for Boehner as he enters politically perilous fights to raise the debt ceiling and pass 2012 spending bills.”