Political Victory? More Budget Battles Loom

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Both Republicans and Democrats are touting Friday's the eleventh-hour deal to cut $38.5 billion in spending as a political triumph.

Friday's deal means 800,000 federal workers have been spared furloughs and troops will get their paychecks.

"Because Congress was able to settle its differences, that's  why this place is open today and everybody's able to enjoy their visit," President Obama said Friday.

CBN News Sr. Political Correspondent talked more about Washington's budget battles on The 700 Club, April 11. Click play for his comments following Charlene Israel's report.  Also, see more of his analysis here on upcoming votes in Congress.

So who emerged the true political victor in Friday's budget deal?

Regarding the $38.5 billion in spending cuts, Republican came out on top. Just a few months earlier Democrats called such levels of cuts "draconian."
"We've had to bring this president kicking and screaming to the table to cut spending," Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., said.

However, Democrats scored a political victory in successfully beating back a GOP effort to cut funding to Planned Parenthood and NPR.   

"House Republicans needed to pick a fight. And I think (House Speaker) John Boehner fought the good fight. I think he drove a hard bargain here," Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., said.

"From what I know, it sounds like John Boehner got a good deal -- probably not good enough for me to support it -- but a good deal nonetheless," Pence added.

While the immediate threat of a government shutdown was successfully averted, bigger battles still loom ahead. President Obama and lawmakers are now turning their attention to America's long-term economic future.

In a speech Wednesday night, the president will lay out his plans to slash the deficit, including tax hikes and cuts in Medicare and Medicaid spending.

Still, his top adviser suggested such cuts must be made with care.

"We can't take a machete," Senior White House Adviser David Plouffe told on ABC's "This Week." "We have to take a scalpel, and we're going to have to cut, we're going to have to look carefully."

Meanwhile, the U.S. is about to hit the legal ceiling for America's national debt -- $14.3 trillion. Congress must decide whether to raise that limit.

"I think there will be some kind of negotiations, and, yes, it probably will go up to some sort of a deadline," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told NBC's Meet the Press.

"The debt ceiling deadline is a moving deadline," he explained. "It's not a date-certain deadline like the government shutdown. Our strategy is not to default. Our strategy is to get spending under control."

Administration officials warned the consequences of defaulting could be dire.

"Default by the United States would precipitate a crisis worse than the one we just went through," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said. 

"The implications of that for our financial system, for our fiscal policy, for our economy would be catastrophic," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke agreed.

The final vote on this year's budget comes in just a few days. However, budget negotiations for 2012 are expected to be even more difficult since the stakes will be much higher. 

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CBN News
Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.