WASHINGTON--Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) the Tea Party movement leader mulling a 2008 presidential run, seemed to put some distance between herself and GOP hard liners trying to inject abortion and climate change into budget talks taking place as a government shutdown looms.
Republicans--who control the House-- want a bill that preserves salary payments for the U.S. military even if there is a shutdown--but poisoned the legislation for most Democrats by adding elements that Democrats--who control the Senate--have rejected, such as $12 billion in Defense cuts
On "John King USA," King asked, 'do you think for the sake of getting a deal now, should Republicans say, let's get more spending cuts and give up, whether it's abortion funding or it's environmental regulation funding, set that aside for the next battle?"
Bachman replied, "Well, my opinion is this. I think that we should have clean bill that makes sure that the paycheck gets to the troops on time. After all, now that President Obama has us engaged in a third war in Libya, I think it's imperative that our troops not pay a price and none of the family's back home should worry whether or not they're getting a check."
If the issue is really about making sure soldiers are paid no matter what--something Democrats and Republicans agree with--then House and Senate members would have to agree to a short term CR that is clean.
The Democrats are pressing hard on Thursday-- that Republicans are trying to force a social agenda by adding riders to bills: from abortion funding in the District of Columbia, to ending funding for Planned Parenthood, to limits on the Environmental Protection Agency.
Said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) from the Senate floor on Thursday afternoon: "Why in the world flounder over two social issue: closing down the E.P.A.'s functions and closing down women's access to health care? That's where they are. It's no longer about the deficit."