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Congress: Deadlocked

“With budget talks deadlocked, House Republicans drafted a one-week bill last night to cut spending by $12 billion, fully fund the Pentagon, and avert a government shutdown threatened for Friday. At the same time, they disclosed plans to instruct lawmakers ‘on how the House would operate in the event Senate Democrats shut down the government,’” the AP reports. “The display of brinksmanship came at the end of a day marked by increasing acrimony in budget negotiations, and drew a sarcastic response from Democrats. ‘House Republicans should focus on negotiating, not planning dress rehearsals for a shutdown that the Tea Party so desires,’ said Jon Summers, a spokesman for Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat.”

More: “A one-week measure that contains an additional $12 billion would presumably be reassuring to Tea Party-backed lawmakers, who are among the most vocal in seeking to reduce the size and scope of the government. It would also be difficult for most Democrats to support. But by including the money the Pentagon needs for the next six months, Republicans hoped to increase the pressure on them.”

The short-term CR, however, “includes a controversial abortion rider,” Roll Call notes. The bill “would prohibit the District of Columbia government from using federal or local funds to pay for abortions for low-income women.”

NBC’s Shawna Thomas quotes a GOP aide: "Senate Democrats and the White House don't get serious about passing a funding bill for the rest of the year that will really cut spending and help end the uncertainty that makes it harder to create American jobs."

There’s some fatigue among House Republicans on the CR debate: “GOP lawmakers and aides said that while they are not ready to abandon the fight over a six-month continuing resolution, they are nevertheless itching to take up other issues, including a new budget bill, the debt limit, gas prices and the situation in Libya,” Roll Call reports.

What’s behind this? A GOP source tells The Hill: Boehner “said he needs this [the as-of-yet-introduced bill] and the support of the conference going into that meeting at the White House, because he feels it gives him more leverage.”

Meanwhile, Roll Call says “House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s bold new budget blueprint could not have come at a more opportune time for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who will have to sell conservatives on a compromise with Senate Democrats and the White House to keep the government operating past Friday.” The paper makes this point: Ryan’s plan “could help Boehner convince his Conference that now is the time to cut a deal — even if it means compromising with Democrats on spending and policy riders.”

The Hill calls this “a defining moment” for Ryan. “Ryan must now sell his plan to two distinct audiences: fellow conservatives and then the wider public.”

Red State’s Erickson wrote this on Twitter: “Having read what Paul Ryan is proposing, I really like it. But I think it should be where we want to end negotiations, not begin them.” And then: “It's official. I must now hate the Paul Ryan budget. David Brooks is in love with it.”

Brooks calls it “the most comprehensive and most courageous budget reform proposal any of us have seen in our lifetimes. Ryan is expected to leap into the vacuum left by the president’s passivity…  His proposal will set the standard of seriousness for anybody who wants to play in this discussion. It will become the 2012 Republican platform, no matter who is the nominee.”

(Question: If Ryan’s proposal sets the standard of seriousness, why didn’t Ryan back the equally serious -- and more bipartisan -- Deficit Commission recommendations?)

“Forty-one senators have pledged to filibuster any bipartisan spending bill that includes an amendment to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood, threatening an impasse with House conservatives,” The Hill writes.

Jim DeMint says, “Republican lawmakers need to be willing to risk their political careers to win support for a balanced-budget amendment,” per The Hill.