WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress cannot ignore the political losses that might run into the 2012 elections from failing to get a budget deal tonight. A running poll of readers on reuters.com shows 60 percent would blame Republicans more for a government shutdown, 22 percent would blame Democrats and 18 percent say both parties, equally.
In the blame game, however, Republicans have a powerful point: when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress just months ago, they could have approved the current year budget. The Democrats started this mess, they say. President Barack Obama will lose face if he can't stop it.
But all eyes are on House Speaker John Boehner in his first real test as the supreme Republican leader. A hard-fought deal in the 11th hour could cement his leadership in the party. A shutdown could earn him street cred with vocal, vote-heavy Tea Partiers who want him to hold firm on spending cuts.
In the event of a shutdown, Boehner might also get street crud. Garbage will not be collected in the District of Columbia and nearly 7,000 residents have joined a Facebook campaign titled "If Boehner shuts down the government I am taking my trash to his house."
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With no US budget deal, government shutdown looms
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USDA aims to boost sales of high-blend ethanol
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