Bargain over Budget Reached at Eleventh Hour
Late Friday night House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced a final deal to fund the government through September that would cut about $38 billion in fiscal 2011 spending. The two sides also agreed on the terms of a short-term spending bill needed to avert the federal shutdown scheduled to begin at midnight Friday.
To reach the compromise, Democrats yielded to Republican demands for more spending cuts while Republicans relented over various policy provisions restricting spending on a litany of social and regulatory programs, including Planned Parenthood, the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and implementation of last year’s health care law. A ban on funding for Planned Parenthood, the one issue that had been holding up a deal, was dropped from the final package, reported the Washington Post.
The House and Senate were prepared to pass the short-term spending measure, which would keep the government running into the coming week and include the first $2 billion of the agreed-to savings, before midnight. The two chambers were expected to take up the larger measure by midweek.
In a joint statement, Boehner and Reid referred to the agreement as achieving “an historic amount of cuts.”