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House to Vote Tuesday on Stopgap Budget to Avoid Government Shutdown

4 years ago
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With funding for the federal government scheduled to expire Friday at midnight, the House of Representatives will vote Tuesday on a short-term spending bill to keep the government operating through March 18.

The Republican-sponsored measure would keep the government open while House and Senate negotiators try to hammer out a longer-term budget for the rest of the year. It would also retroactively cut $4 billion from 2010 levels over the next two weeks.

"We can keep the government open and cut spending," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday. "I think there's a false choice that you can't do both."

The House vote comes a week after the chamber voted to slash $61 billion from the federal budget for the rest of the year, including zeroing out programs favored by Democrats, like Planned Parenthood, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the recently passed health care reform bill.

But with the Democratically controlled Senate unlikely to act on the House-passed bill, Republican leaders redrafted the plan to pull the funding from sources that President Obama has already proposed to cut, like earmarks and highway funding, but also keep the lower spending levels that conservatives House freshmen are insisting on.

"We don't see why there's any reason in the world the Senate doesn't accept that," Cantor said.

Although House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi criticized the spending cuts in the new House proposal as "not a good place to start," Senate Democrats, and even the White House, have sent signals that the revamped measure could pass this week to keep the government operating, at least for now.

"We're pleased that there seems to be some progress, and we think we're moving in the right direction," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Monday. "But this is still a process that's being worked up on the Hill."

In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid has moved to bring a short-term spending bill up for a vote before Friday, but Reid has not yet offered details on what the Senate would take up, nor has he committed to voting on the same cuts the House is proposing.

Jon Summers, Reid's spokesman, told Politics Daily only that "we remain focused on preventing a government shutdown, while working on the long-term solutions we need to fund the government and responsibly cut spending."

In order to do that, the House and Senate will eventually have to agree this week on spending and cuts to federal programs, a level of compromise that has eluded the two chambers so far this year. Democrats and Republicans will also have to agree on a longer-term funding plan by March 18 or again face the prospect of a government shutdown.

That's a scenario that most Americans say they want to avoid. A poll conducted by Gallup last week showed that 60 percent of those polled-- including 61 percent of independents-- said they want their legislators to compromise on a budget rather than force a government shutdown.
Filed Under: The Capitolist

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The budget should be put on a website. Let the public see where the money is going. Then the public could email their senators and congressmen with suggestions for cutting the budget.

March 08 2011 at 12:24 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Seems to me like the Repub's and Dems are playing chicken. Too bad that the main issues prompting the waiting game is which party will blink first. It is the party that feels like they will be blamed.

How about being a statesman rather than a politician???

March 03 2011 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And on cspan this afternoon the gop is still fighting for corporate welfare for big oil. Go figure.

March 01 2011 at 4:39 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Congress has proven they can not be trusted with the peoples money, we need Constitutional Amendments for a Balanced Budget and Term Limits of 12 years.

March 01 2011 at 12:59 PM Report abuse +19 rate up rate down Reply

It galls me they are wanting to cut "entitlement" programs, such as SS, MC, and others. Entitlement means you are entitled because you have "paid for it" over a period of years, and both you and your employer was forced to do so, you weren't given a choice. The problem came about when the government began using that money for other things than for the purpose it was intended to fund. How would anyone feel if they made regular monthly deposits to a bank, with their employers contributing an equal amount, and when the time came to draw upon those funds, the bank said "sorry, we used it for other purposes". I'm sick of hearing people speak of "entitlements" as though it was a gift from the government, that one had not paid in for. Had the money been spent only for what it was intended for, there would be tons left over.

March 01 2011 at 12:39 PM Report abuse +14 rate up rate down Reply

Since the current spending levels of this government are unsustainable it is time for both parities and their leadership to come to grasp with the fact that cuts have to be made.. No longer can we have elected officials carving out special interest and trying to save them from the inevitable future of the necessary cuts. Unfortunately there is a wide divide between the Republicans and the Democrats the Republicans want to start doing the needed cuts and the Dems are hell bent on keeping the current spending in force... Since the moderates are on the side of cuts the Dems will lose big time come this next election.

March 01 2011 at 12:21 PM Report abuse +23 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dasunx's comment

Actually, that's not necessarily true. Although spending cuts can help, actually making corporations pay their fair share would go a long way in solving America's budget problem. Additionally, those who are trying to make this a partisan fight are not following their leadership. The American public will know who shuts down the government when and if the time comes, and they won't blame the sitting President or his party. Have you noticed that no Republican candidates have announced? Could it be they know better than to expose themselves to the storm that's brewing.

March 01 2011 at 1:42 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

How about a big pay cut for Congress

March 01 2011 at 11:26 AM Report abuse +33 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jhnsnphil's comment
Seth Wynd

Awful idea. It would actually guarantee that the only people who could afford to be Congressmen (and women) would be those who are already wealthy, as they are now. The average citizen simply cannot get into Congress without an enormous amount of financial support both getting in AND to cover the costs for the half year they won't be working. That's why you see so many of the current Congressmen (and especially the senators) coming from pretty wealthy backgrounds.

March 05 2011 at 3:42 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

As far as I'm concerned, except for such services as border security, Social Security, which isn't supposed to be part of the Government anyway, military, FBI, and some others, they can shut it down. Salaries of the President, etc., can be suspended. Many programs and departments such as IRS, Interior, Education, the healthcare/power grab law, and many others should be completely defunded and eliminated permanently.

March 01 2011 at 10:49 AM Report abuse +43 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rosugill's comment
Seth Wynd

...and cutting the Internal Revenue Service is going to help the financial situation HOW? Seems like a brilliant way of shooting the government in the foot more than any real solution. And proposing to eliminate the Department of Education is basically doing the same thing, just in the long run. In case you haven't noticed, our education system is kind of awful. Removing federal aid for schools that need it (and many do, federal grants and loans are the easiest way to make major improvements or renovations) would only ensure it gets worse.

March 05 2011 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about cutting spending on the war..? OR pull out of it..?

March 01 2011 at 10:36 AM Report abuse +36 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to KnawLedge's comment

Agree! Time to end both wars and also stop foreign aid.

March 01 2011 at 12:39 PM Report abuse +15 rate up rate down Reply

And Eric Cantor (shown in this picture) wants to bring back the 2004 tax rate of just 5.25% for overseas profits. It's a job killer, but who profits from this? Their legislation is just wrong. Repealing banking legislation that prohibits predatory lending and credit card loan sharking. Repealing healthcare that holds insurers accountable for increases - Fidelity just reported their costs went down but do you think we'll see a reduction in premiums. No -just more record profts. And cutting the IRS so they can't go after offshore accounts when they were just given the resources to do so in 2009 with over 14,000 coming forward and more just caught the other day in Virginia. Are they really representing you?

March 01 2011 at 10:33 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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