House Speaker John Boehner rejected the Democrat proposed compromise Monday that would cut $33 billion from President Barack Obama's proposed budget.
"Despite attempts by Democrats to lock in a number among themselves, I've made clear that their $33 billion is not enough,” said Boehner (R-Ohio) in a statement.
Boehner criticized the deal asserting that it was full of "smokes and mirrors." Meanwhile, House Republicans are putting together another budget resolution that would include reforms to Medicare and Medicaid.
Boehner's rejection of the budget proposal follows political pressure from Tea Party Republicans. Amid rumors of bipartisan budget talks late last week, Tea Party bloggers began questioning the House Speaker's leadership, saying he had "caved." Boehner responded by assuring the public that GOP members were listening to the people who put them in office and that they are fighting for “the largest spending cuts that we can get.”
On Thursday, Tea Party supporters held a rally in the District of Columbia to demand the full $100 billion in cuts, including cuts to fund Obama's health care reform. Minnesota Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann and Virginia's Rep. Bob Goodlatte defected from their ranks to join the rally.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who confirmed the budget compromise talks on Monday, stated that the president had expressed high hopes for a compromise on the budget.
According to a Pew Research poll released Monday, Americans may be ready for a budget compromise.
The poll shows that 55 percent of respondents believe lawmakers who share their view on the issue should compromise on the budget even if they don’t agree with it. The poll also reveals that if efforts to compromise fail and the government shuts down, then 39 percent of respondents will blame Republicans while 36 percent will blame the Obama administration.
Of those in favor of compromise, 64 percent say they are Democrats while 40 percent are Republicans. Exactly half of Republicans (50 percent) polled believe GOP lawmakers should hold their ground. Of those who identified themselves as conservative Republicans, 56 percent urged Republican lawmakers to stand their ground.
Republicans are responding to the staunch fiscal conservatives in their party with a second attempt at a budget resolution. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) authored the resolution. Ryan's proposed 2012 budget would turn Medicaid into a block-grant program and convert Medicare into a program that guarantees a set contribution to a senior's health care costs. The resolution would also cap overall spending and would not raise taxes. The resolution has the full backing of the House leadership.
Democrats, however, dismissed the GOP efforts as an "outside game" meant to appease the fiscal conservatives among their ranks.
"As long as he (Boehner) continues to negotiate, it's OK by us if he needs to strike a different pose publicly," said Senate Democrat Charles Schumer of New York to The Hill newspaper.
During a February speech to Christian media leaders, Boehner said the national debt is a moral threat to the country. According to Boehner, the nation is currently $14.1 trillion in debt.
"It is immoral to bind our children to as leeching and destructive a force as debt. It is immoral to rob our children’s future and make them beholden to China. No society is worthy that treats its children so shabbily," Boehner said at this year's National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville.
That same month, the president released his 2012 fiscal year budget, a $3.7 trillion proposal that includes $147.9 billion for research and development. Outraged Republican vowed to introduce $100 billion in cuts to the proposed plan.
A reformed budget with the $100 billion in cuts was approved by House Republicans but later voted down in the Democratically-controlled Senate. Since then, Republicans have successfully passed $10 billion in spending cuts through both the U.S. House and Senate.
Boehner said in a statement last week that he and other Republicans wish to avoid a government shutdown that will, in his view, disrupt government contracts and hurt job growth. But he told The Hill that Democrats must "bring a serious proposal to carry out the people's will of cutting spending."
With less than four days before the latest spending resolution expires, government agencies are already bracing for a shutdown. Under orders from the White House Office of Management and Budget, government agencies are beginning to share their contingency plans, said OMB spokesman Kenneth Baer to Reuters.