Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann
says she is optimistic there will be a last-minute agreement on 2011 spending that will avoid a government shutdown, but while at the end of the day, she believes most reluctant GOP representatives will back House Speaker John Boehner, she herself can’t vote for any bill that doesn’t defund Obamacare.
“Well, obviously, there was no agreement tonight, but that doesn't mean that there actually will be a shutdown or that there won’t be agreement tomorrow — I think both sides are going to come together overnight,” Bachmann Thursday told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “I think they will because, again, the money differences, as you accurately said, are not that far apart. And I think they’ll have to split the differences ideologically.”
Van Susteren wondered why there is so much work yet to be done, as President Barack Obama said Thursday congressional staffs would be working through the night to reach a deal, and asked whether the main differences were strictly ideological.
“Well, they’ve got big-picture things . . . budgets are huge and there’s a lot of small, little moving parts,” Bachmann said. “And so the staff needs to come in and figure out how they can actually make it balance and make it work. Remember, again, we’re talking about a budget that’s $3.5 trillion. And the difference that we’re talking about here is tens of billions of dollars out of $3.5 trillion.
“The bill that was sent over today to the Senate had to do with abortion. But what it did is, it cut out . . . abortion in Washington, D.C,” she continued. “It didn’t necessarily defund Planned Parenthood. So that shows movement and negotiation on the part of John Boehner.
“So that tells me that I think we’ll probably get somewhere on this because, again, I think Republicans are looking to 2012, with the ‘Path to Prosperity,’” Bachmann said. “The next budget that we’re looking at [House Budget Committee Chairman] Paul Ryan introduced this week. And it could be that that’s where we’ll see us fight over trillions, and over the big ideological battles, rather than now.”
Van Susteren asked Bachmann why she voted against the stopgap bill the House passed on Thursday if she was so optimistic a deal was near, and whether members of the tea party movement, who had demanded bigger cuts than proposed in the legislation, would go along.
“Well, I voted against it because this morning President Obama said that he was going to vote against the bill. And we have another bill that actually will allow the troops to keep their paychecks and just have that as a stand-alone bill. I thought that was a better way to go,” Bachman replied. “And also, this bill didn't defund Obamacare. I made a statement early on that I won’t be able to vote for any budget that doesn’t defund Obamacare — I’ve staked out that position,” adding she believed reluctant Republican congressmen would vote for the bill, despite her trepidations.
“Well, I think they’re going to listen to the speaker. I think they’ll listen to what the speaker has to say and I think they’ll act accordingly,” she continued. “At the end of the day, I think we’re going to get something.
“I really do — I think it's going to happen.”
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