Political Attention Set To Focus On Federal Budget

The country’s political attention lately has focused on Wisconsin and a battle over public unions.

Coming in a distance second is the potential that the federal government could shut down Friday. But U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., said the attention will switch to Washington in the next few days as the Republican-controlled House tries to work with the Democratic Senate and White House to pass another stop-gap budget measure to keep the federal government functioning a few more weeks.

A new budget was supposed to be in place by last Oct. 1, but Congress could not agree on a full budget so has passed temporary spending measures to keep government open. The current temporary spending plan ends Friday.

Kline, who plans to seek re-election next year, said even as Congress looks at another temporary budget bill, work needs to begin to trim the country’s $14 trillion debt and “pull back the runaway spending.”

While Kline said he does not think a shutdown is likely, he also could not explain how there will be a compromise between Republicans who want to cut spending now and Democrats who want to maintain current spending for now.

The coming days will be “a showdown,” Kline said.

That showdown should attract the country’s attention, the congressman predicted.