Krauthammer vs. Will: Conservative commentators debate pending budget deal

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Although the jury is out on who the winners are in an emerging deal to end the current budget impasse and raise the debt ceiling, some conservative commentators have soured on Republicans in Congress that may sign off on the deal.

On Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” on Monday night, Washington Post columnists Charles Krauthammer and George Will had two distinct views of what is known about the pending deal. First, Krauthammer explained why he viewed it as a loss for the GOP.

“[W]hen the poll in The Wall Street Journal came out at the end of last week, it was a bombshell, and they are headed for the exits now,” Krauthammer said. “The concessions that are supposed to — and incidentally, Mitch McConnell who is negotiating this — I’m not blaming him at all. He has been handed a hand with no cards. So, whatever he is able to pull off will be a way to escape from what was a disaster. But, they don’t get anything that is real. They get a few, the Republicans I’m talking about, a few curlicues on the Obamacare that has no effect on the bill, itself, on the law itself.”

“But they are giving away by having the continuing resolution of the funding of the government only until January 15 — they are giving the major achievement of this Congress away, where in the Budget Control Act of 2011, they instituted severe and strict cuts which are called the sequesters, which a Congressional Research Service says is the most successful and largest cutting since the early ‘50s,” he continued. “They are giving it away because if you were to do a resolution for the whole year, you fund for the whole year. You would have the cuts of next year kicking in automatically. What the Republicans ought to do right now is to extend the debt ceiling for six weeks clean, and exactly as Obama wants. This is what the House should do and give a clean C.R. for a year.”

Krauthammer said he believed that congressional Republicans could take the six week extension to work out a deal that kept in place automatic cuts.

“You give yourself six weeks in which you can negotiate like a Ryan plan with the White House,” Krauthammer added. “That’s the only leverage that you are going to have for anything. On the C.R., if you give them a year on the continuing resolution, which is again what Obama had wanted in the first place, what you will get are the automatic cuts next year, which is the most effective way to cut the budget.”

Will said that this damaged President Barack Obama, who had already taken hits over Syria and the sequester, and therefore is a win for the Republicans.

“I disagree with Charles,” Will said. “I think that the Republicans are coming out of this very well. The president who said’ I never drew a red line regarding chemical weapons’ when we saw him do it, the president who said the sequester was not my idea when Bob Woodward’s meticulous reporting demonstrates that it was — the president who said I want clean CRs and debt ceiling increases, the president who said I will not negotiate is effectively through proxies in Congress negotiating an unclean extension because the Republicans woke up to the fact they have in their hand a tremendous hammer and that is the sequester, which Democrats hate, which is written into law, and will continue in effect for the rest of the decade unless the law is changed, and changing it with this Congress is going to be heavy lifting.”

(h/t Mary Katharine Ham, Hot Air)

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