President to Intervene in Budget Talks as Deal Moves Further from Reach
President Obama will meet with the leaders of the two parties at the White House today as the April 8 deadline for passing a measure to keep the government open fast approaches. Obama previously had left negotiations over a bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal 2011 to Vice President Joseph Biden and Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew.
On Monday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) made clear that the gulf between the two parties is widening, stating that Republicans will not settle for a $33 billion cut from current spending levels. Last week, Senate Democrats said that the two parties had agreed to reduce fiscal 2011 spending by that amount, and that it only remained for the two sides to come to terms on what programs to cut.
At press time, CQ Today reported that House Republicans are preparing a new continuing resolution to fund the government through April 15. The stopgap measure would call for $12 billion in new cuts and fund DOD through the remainder of the fiscal year, an urgent priority for both the Pentagon and defense appropriators.
During ongoing discussions over FY 2011 funding, Senate Democrats have proposed cutting nearly $2 billion in DOD programs, but House Republicans have rebuffed the request, according to CQ.