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Power Breakfast: Seven Days And Counting To Prevent A Government Shutdown

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Right now some $33 billion in spending cuts for the current fiscal year are on the table, which is still less than what some far-right lawmakers in the House wanted, but darn close to a more moderate GOP spot.

Count Mississippi's Thad Cochran, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, among those who are still skeptical.

"I hope we can work out something on the budget, but I'm not optimistic. I think the president is intent on spending more than we need to spend in a lot of areas," he says.

Cochran's fellow Mississippi Republican, Senator Roger Wicker, says he expects a deal will be reached.

"I don't think anybody wants a government shutdown, certainly not I. I'm ready for us to start with this year's business," Wicker says.

The operative word being "start." For all the drama, the CR is just the opening act. The headliners still to come are the looming debate over the debt ceiling, and the 2012 budget.

Which is why, at some point before next Friday, April 8th, Republican malcontents will likely be convinced to keep what's left of their considerable powder dry.

Florida's newly-elected Senator Marco Rubio, who won his seat with tea party support, is one of the ones retrenching.

"Everyone around here is still arguing about how we're going to spend money over the next six months," Rubio says. "But I think we need to start focusing more on how we're going to be spending money over the next 60 years, which is what this debt limit debate is going to be all about."

So what some lawmakers want to call the "home stretch" may just be the seventh inning stretch in the season opener.


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