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House Continues Debate on Spending Bill; GOP Demands More Cuts

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As House debate dragged on into the early hours Friday, House Speaker John Boehner issued a strong message to the White House and Democratic lawmakers: go along with the GOP bill to cut the current 2011 budget, or risk a government shutdown in two weeks.

Boehner dug his heels in and said he would not allow the House to consider a temporary funding resolution to keep the government operating past March 4 unless spending was cut. House Republicans want to slash some $61 billion from the budget.

"I am not going to move any kind of short-term [measure] at current [spending] levels," Boehner, R-Ohio, said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

After recessing so lawmakers could get some sleep, debate resumed later Friday morning as Republicans called up an amendment denying government funds for implementation of the new health law.

The federal government is now operating under a temporary budget, which continues spending at 2010 levels. But it expires March 4.

In the Senate, Democratic leaders want to approve another extension of the temporary funding measure while the two chambers work out their differences.

Some senators indicated they were willing to work with the GOP on making cuts in the 2011 budget. "There will be some additional cuts, we know that," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), a senior member of the Senate leadership, the Washington Post reported.

But regardless of when the House does pass a final measure, the Democratic majority in the Senate is likely to balk at some of the Republican-sponsored cuts -- leaving it unclear whether the chambers will be able to agree on something before the temporary funding measure expires and the government runs out of money.

At its heart, the House debate reflects a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans regarding the role of government in public life.

Republicans want to demonstrate their conviction that the federal government is inefficient, bloated and must be curtailed to create a more competitive economic climate. Democrats, on the other hand, have argued that government plays a vital role in regulation and safety, and the services it provides are critical to ensuring a well-functioning society.

House members have been working late on the federal-spending measure, but with 583 amendments -- demanding hundreds of individual votes -- it is unclear when lawmakers will be able to proceed with a final vote.

Boehner sought to make good on a campaign promise to allow for more open debate. As a result, House members were able to add the lion's share of amendments to the spending bill, including ones that would end federal funding for Planned Parenthood and programs offering energy assistance to low-income families.

Among the amendments that had been voted on as of late Thursday night:

Passed: An amendment to cancel the F-35 jet engine program.

Passed: An amendment to reduce financing for the National Endowment for the Arts back to fiscal 2006 levels (about $21 million).

Failed: An amendment to restore $50 million in heating assistance for the poor.

Passed: An amendment to eliminate financing for firefighter grants.

Passed: An amendment to eliminate the National Drug Intelligence Center.

Failed: An amendment to add $131,000,000 to appropriations for the Securities and Exchange Commission (offset by reductions in the accounts for Treasury and IRS Enforcement).

Failed: An amendment to reduce IRS spending and increase funding for the Consumer Protection Bureau.

Passed: An amendment to prohibit FCC funding to implement the "Net Neutrality" Act.

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As a Democrat, I never thought I would be saying this, I sure miss Bill Frist as the GOP Speaker of the House. Since the Republicans have the majority, sure wish there was an intelligent Rep in there. Boo Hooing is ridiculous. Orange tans are silly. Boehner always gripes about Democrats and the President having no plays. Yet when has he ever had any coherent solution to any government problem. It is okay with him for people to loose jobs. A wise person knows that sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Does anyone remember the parable in the Bible where 3 men were given the same amount of money. At the end of the time period, one man saved his money and Jesus said that he looses because he didn't do anything to make the money grow and help people, Man 2 wasted his money...he lost also. The 3rd man, went out and his money grew and he helped people. Jesus praised him. Of course, I didn't quote this properly, but that was the message.
Boehner and the GOP along with the tea badgers should study their Bible better. they only thing they find in the Bible is hate and destruction. You really have to pity them.

March 06 2011 at 4:10 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I have a great ideal. Lets start out with government cuts, recall al Republicans at about $200,000.00 pay per Republican times about lets say 400 Republicans that would be 80,000,000.00 (eighty million) dollars. It's a start since they ship jobs overseas lets ship them overseas also and we can save money. Ultra Rich people don't need tax cuts, if you make 10 million a year and if you had to pay half in taxes, you would still make more money per year than 98% of the people in the United States. Some tell that to the Koch (crook) brothers.

March 04 2011 at 10:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

How about 10 percent cuts on EVERYTHING, instead of mega cuts on things people need.

March 04 2011 at 5:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Hey There

I just read what the speaker wants to push forward dear god help us all if it gets passed thats all i can say

March 04 2011 at 3:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The Republicans will have alot more credibility when they start cutting their own pay and benefits. Why is it that when times get tough, Congress expects the people who can least afford it to sacrifice?

March 01 2011 at 10:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

How about the GOP start with themselves. I don't see them leading by example. Take a pay cut. Look how much that would save. Pay your own way - my private health insurance.

February 27 2011 at 4:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mount carmine

You did it again lefty.

February 24 2011 at 9:00 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply

How many of them have agreed not to collect paychecks for the next 3 years?

February 23 2011 at 7:59 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

i am sure that the first line in the cut the budget bill was:

We, the republicans (and democrats too), reduce our federal salaries by 35% and that of our staff by 25%. We, also, will increase our financial share to our "free health care for life", to our retirements/pensions for life and too any other state funded benefits to which we are entitled to for life. we also forbid becoming lobbists for life and of using honorifics after leaving office.

February 23 2011 at 11:24 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

I think the elected officels have forgoten. We The People. Maybe we need to march on washington to. If all the working class people in this country just call in sick for one day maybe the republican and tea party and their big business partners pocket book would get the message. All we have to do is don't drive and don't work. Lets give them a pay cut. all aboard here we come.

February 22 2011 at 11:56 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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