Republicans are planning a new strategy which is a big gamble, but might benefit them nevertheless. It is to cap total spending at the sequester level, but give the President authority to move funds around.
This would give them the opportunity to blame the President for whatever program cuts take place. They could shrug and say, “Isn’t our fault. If we had the Presidency we would fund your favorite.”
On the other hand, it would give the President the opportunity to save his favorite programs. Republicans would have to sit by and watch their favorites go down a rat hole and the ones the hate get the available money. The outcome is fun to speculate about.
I would hope this Democrat President would spend more on health care and education and less on defense, highways, airports and concrete in general. It would not be a bad thing if all kinds of aid to local governments and communities would be cut back. Many of these are supported by Republicans because local businesses make money off of them.
The trouble the President would face if he did what I’m suggesting is a lack of ribbon cuttings. That’s what Republicans are good at, large public works projects, tangible projects people can see that give them ribbon cutting ceremonies. A Democrat President would probably see this and need to get his share.
This Republican idea does make more sense than cutting all programs equally. It is risky for Republicans, but may be their only choice.