The GOP leadership seems to be trying to avoid blame. It doesn't want the blame for shutting down government operations, which is what would happen if the GOP makes any new demands. But they also don't want to face primary challenges from Tea Party-backed candidates, so they have to look tough.
Boehner is walking a tight rope on this issue, and many will be watching and wondering whether he'll make it to the other platform or whether he'll plunge off the line and into either an abyss or a safety net. I'm predicting that he gets to the other side, much to the chagrin of the Tea Party. The other side is the totally predictable status quo appropriation--no cuts, no revenue increases.
Perhaps the more interesting show will be what the Tea Party does this month and during the next year. They've been agitating for spending cuts and entitlement reform, but their only success was the mixed blessing of the sequester. After its losses in the election, does the Tea Party have any strength left to effect fiscal changes, or only to scare GOP congressmen? I'm betting they spent their influence for too little fiscal restraint, but they'll still be the most frightening boogeymen to GOP pols for a while yet.
Boehner and Tea Party friend