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Bachmann 'doubts' shutdown, won't back budget compromise

Conservative Rep. Michele Bachmann, the founder of the House Tea Party Caucus and a potential 2012 presidential candidate, said Wednesday that she “doubts” the government will shut down at the end of this week due to a budget impasse but that she cannot support current versions of compromise legislation that would avert a federal funding gap.

“I firmly believe that by Friday a deal will be made,” she said on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown. “I doubt that we’ll see a government shutdown in the final analysis.”

The Minnesota lawmaker repeated a common GOP charge that top Democrats are rooting for a shutdown in hopes of pinning unpopular outcomes on conservative lawmakers.

But while Bachmann pointed the finger at those on the other side of the aisle for eschewing compromise, she also said that she will not support a suggested deal that would cut between $33 billion and $40 billion in federal spending.

“I cannot vote for the current compromise that we’re looking at,” she said. “I don’t think it is sufficient, because, primarily, it doesn’t include the defunding of Obamacare.”

Bachmann and other Tea Party activists have argued that a House-passed package of $61 billion in cuts should be considered a minimum starting point for much deeper cuts.

That number, she said Wednesday, is already a “tremendous compromise” that resulted from some Republicans’ initial demands that the FY11 budget cuts total $100 billion.

“The Republicans have already compromised,” she said.