Potential Budget Deal Could Do Little to Assuage Shutdown Stalwarts

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 10.19.20 AMMAGGIE HABERMAN Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Good Tuesday morning. As the Republican candidates assemble talking points forWednesdays debate, Congress has given them plenty to discuss with word of a potential agreement to raise the debt limit while decreasing Medicare and Social Security disability payments. Though the accord would potentially save Republican candidates from accusations of shutting down the government, it would pose a test for those who have led the charge for previous shutdowns.

For the first time in many months, congressional Republicans may have spared their party a headache that could have damaged their chances in the presidential election.

The deal that has been reached in principle would provide for a budget lasting through 2017 and would lift the debt ceiling, but it would also increase domestic and military spending. A failure to reach a deal would have been an election-year football for both parties, but it could have been particularly damning for Republicans, who have seen voters’ views of their party dim since the government shutdown of October 2013.

It is unclear how presidential candidates from the two parties will respond to the measure, which must still be voted on in Congress. But so far, conservative Republicans are taking a dim view of the proposal.
The measure, however, holds implications for conservative candidates like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the Tea Party favorite who has railed against budget deals and helped lead to the government shutdown in 2013.
Mr. Cruz on Monday collected a string of endorsements in his home state, including from Darwin Deason, a billionaire and important donor to the campaign of Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who ended his presidential bid last month.
Despite the Bush family’s strong connections to Texas donors, Mr. Cruz has wooed supporters who might otherwise have gone to Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who is struggling to pare down costs and refocus his campaign.