WASHINGTON — The House on Tuesday passed a two-week budget measure that cuts $4 billion in federal spending, and Senate Democrats said they would quickly follow suit, averting any threat of a government shutdown when money runs out on Friday.
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.But the measure, approved by a bipartisan vote of 335 to 91, extends only through March 18, allowing little time for the Republican-led House and the Democratic Senate to bridge substantial divisions over how much money to allocate to federal agencies for the remainder of the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30.
In a sign of continuing partisan tensions over spending, Democrats said that Speaker John A. Boehner had rejected overtures from the White House and Senate to approve a 30-day extension with $8 billion in spending cuts to provide some breathing room for the broader negotiations.
But Republicans said the Senate had already been too slow to act and that the new proposal from President Obama and Democratic leaders came too late since the House was already preparing to vote on its interim spending plan. They noted the two-week proposal was written to avoid a confrontation while providing an opportunity for negotiations over a broader budgetary continuing resolution, or C.R.
“It is clear that the Senate needs more time so this short term C.R. will provide an additional two weeks while cutting spending to show our continuing resolve to get our nation’s fiscal house in order,” said Representative Hal Rogers, Republican of Kentucky and chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
As they sent the measure to the Senate for a vote that Mr. Reid said would come within 48 hours, House Republicans welcomed testimony Tuesday by the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, that spending cuts of $61 billion proposed by House Republicans would not lead to the severe job losses other analysts have predicted.
Republicans were also promoting a new report from the Government Accountability Office that found billions of dollars in duplicative federal programs that could be cut to produce savings.
“This report confirms what most Americans assume about their government,” said Senator Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma Republican who requested the study. “We are spending trillions of dollars every year and nobody knows what we are doing. The executive branch doesn’t know. The Congressional branch doesn’t know. Nobody knows.”
In the House, the two-week extension drew strong support from both parties, with lawmakers eager to avoid being seen as provoking a government shutdown. In the end, 231 Republicans and 104 Democrats voted for it; 6 Republicans and 85 Democrats were opposed.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/us/po … r=1&hp
Cutting 4 billion from the federal budget is like plucking a single hair from the beard of OLYHOOCH.
It's a pointless endeavor.
I wonder why they didn't see this coming and didn't meet to avert disaster sooner? They love the sensationalism, I suppose.
No, Obama and other Democrats are not too late in suggesting ways to avert financial disaster...it's never too late... the Republicans are just whining because Democrats are starting to take a serious stand!
Whining is their middle name. And pouting because they lost an election.
Oh tears tears...snuffle snuffle....BECK!!!
Hand over the tears!!!
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