For the GOP, when Democrats are in power, the deficit is an issue. When they are it isn't but they push for tax cuts and deregulation to spur "economic growth."
Boehner Urges G.O.P. Unity in ‘Epic Battle’ by Jonathan Weisman and Ashley Parker
Democrats say they simply cannot trust the speaker to deliver. Mr. Reid said in an interview in his office on Friday that Mr. Boehner came to him at the end of July with a proposition: If Senate Democratic leaders could accept a stopgap spending measure in the fall at levels that reflected across-the-board spending cuts, the speaker would refrain from adding extraneous measures that could precipitate a clash.
Mr. Reid was leery, since that level — $988 billion in discretionary spending for the 2014 fiscal year — would be $70 billion less than the Senate-passed budget. “I didn’t like it. I’ve got a couple of tough women to deal with,” he said, referring to Senators Patty Murray of Washington, the chairwoman of the Budget Committee, and Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland, chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee.
On Sept. 12, in a meeting of the top four Congressional leaders, Mr. Boehner said he was running into problems with a conservative groundswell demanding that a gutting of the health law accompany any spending measure. Mr. Reid and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, suggested a procedural step that would allow the House to vote on a stopgap spending bill with a side provision removing funds from the health care law that the Senate could strip out before sending the spending measure to the president.
Again, the speaker agreed. And again, he could not carry through, Mr. Reid said. “If I told him I would do something, I would do that,” the Senate leader said.
At a White House meeting with the president this week, Mr. Boehner twice brought up quiet talks between Ms. Murray and Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the House Budget Committee chairman, as a way to end the impasse with a broad budget deal. The third time, Mr. Reid laughed out loud.