But, says Ornstein, the debt ceiling fight could also make the upcoming appropriations process tougher if Republicans aren't happy with the compromised level of spending cuts. He says it's likely that Republicans, especially freshmen members in the House, will take advantage of the funding process to put pressure on certain agencies in charge of implementing targeted rules and legislation, such as Obama's healthcare reform law, the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, or environmental regulations. "You can imagine what happens when some of these appropriators, who are going to be pissed in the end because they've had to find some compromise...on the debt limit, they're going to be loaded for bear on appropriations," he says.
Although the House already has its negotiating position set through the appropriations bills it's already passed, conservatives could push harder for even more spending cuts as negotiations continue, says Max Pappas, vice president of public policy at FreedomWorks, a conservative advocacy organization. So, in addition to reducing funding for agencies such as Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency, conservatives could try again for serious cuts in all 12 areas. "With a trillion and a half dollar deficit, if they're serious about cutting spending, they need to consider cuts in all of them," he says.