Final Spending Deal Continues to Elude Lawmakers
Republican and Democratic leaders as of Friday evening had moved no closer to a final agreement on funding the government through the remainder of fiscal 2011 as House and Senate staff planned to continue negotiations over the weekend. Appropriations staff from the two chambers will try to settle on specific spending cuts, while leadership staff will focus on the various policy provisions included in the House-passed budget measure that would restrict spending on social and regulatory programs, reported CQ Today.
Top House Republicans continued to step back from the purported agreement reached Wednesday with Senate Democrats to cut $33 billion from government spending levels earlier this year.
“There is no number; there is no agreement on a number,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reiterated Friday. “We are going to fight for the largest spending cuts that we can get, and I’m hopeful we’ll get it as soon as possible,” he added.
Meanwhile, the two parties gird for the next major battle over spending with House Republicans set to release their FY 2012 budget resolution this week. The plan is expected to call for substantial spending cuts to many discretionary programs, including some to defense, as well as reforms to mandatory spending programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, reported CQ.