Fresh off winning nearly $40 billion in cuts to the rest of this year's budget, congressional Republicans on Sunday began listing their demands ahead of the next crucial spending fight on Capitol Hill.
Entitlement reform, spending caps, a balanced-budget amendment and an overhaul of the budget process are among the items on that GOP wish list. Having gotten much, though not all, of what they wanted in the last set of marathon negotiations, Republican leaders vowed Sunday to build on their momentum as Congress takes up a budget plan for 2012 and the rest of the decade.
"This budget deal that was cut ... is only the beginning," House Republican Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., told "Fox News Sunday." "This is the first bite of the apple."
In the last round of negotiations, the threat of a government shutdown was used as a bargaining chip by both sides of the aisle. That threat undoubtedly helped Republicans and Democrats reach an eleventh-hour deal late Friday night -- under the terms, Congress passed a bridge bill keeping the government open through next Thursday and plans to vote on a final fiscal 2011 budget in the coming days.
But in the next round, Republicans made clear that they plan to use the looming vote on whether to raise the debt ceiling as their not-so-secret weapon. [...]
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