House, Senate Face Looming Deadline to Avert Shutdown
With one week left before the continuing resolution funding federal operations in fiscal 2011 runs out, House Republicans late Friday introduced a stopgap funding bill that would keep the government open until March 18 while cutting $4 billion from current spending levels. None of the proposed cuts would come at the expense of defense or military construction spending. And other than calling for eliminating $265 million in earmarks for Homeland Security programs, the bill does not target national security.
More importantly, the House measure may represent a compromise that Senate Democrats can agree to, reported CQ Today. For one, the House’s two-week plan does not include any controversial policy measures that are part of the seven-month package it approved Feb. 19. Also, the end-of-the-year funding bill Senate leaders are crafting for FY 2011 contains a number of reductions that are similar to ones in the House plan, according to the online publication.
“We are encouraged to hear that Republicans are abandoning their demands for extreme measures like cuts to border security, cancer research and food safety inspectors and instead moving closer to Democrats’ position that we should cut government spending in a smart, responsible way that targets waste and excess while keeping our economy growing,” said a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.