Democrats and Republicans are finally on the verge of a new budget deal, according to a report in The New York Times from earlier today. Speaker Boehner and the White House have both issued denials, but The Times is standing by its report, saying that President Obama has tipped off members of Congress about the deal nearing a close. Either way, there is momentum, and it at least appears that we’re closer to a deal.
According to The Times:
The Obama administration has informed Democratic Congressional leaders that President Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner were starting to close in on a major budget deal that would enact substantial spending cuts and seek future revenues through a tax overhaul, Congressional officials said Thursday.
With the government staring at a potential default in less than two weeks, the officials said the administration on Wednesday night notified top members of Congress that an agreement between the president and Mr. Boehner could be imminent. The Congressional leaders, whose help Mr. Obama would need to bring a compromise forward, were told that the new revenue tied to the looming agreement to increase the debt limit by Aug. 2 would be produced in 2012 through a tax code rewrite that would lower individual and corporate rates, close loopholes, end tax breaks and make other adjustments to produce revenue gains.
This would all but signal the failure of the Senate’s “Gang of Six,” a bi-partisan, totally male group of senators that was supposed to come up with a deficit reduction plan. Now, not everything needs to be looked at through the gender lens, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least ask some questions.
Is it strange that there have been no real strong female voices during the budget negotiations? Women live longer than men. They also provide elder care longer than men. It’s not necessarily even that women haven’t been involved, it’s just that there’s been almost no mention of how the new deal will affect men and women differently. Should this have been given greater prominence? Is the lack of gender-based economic discussion actually just another sign of how gender roles are blurring by the day?
Or is this a strictly gender-less issue? Let us know what you think in the comments.
—Photo AP/Charles Dharapak