Breaking News: Budget Reprieve

March 1, 2011 | By Liza Casabona | 1 comment

Democrats and Republicans found common ground today on temporary measures to avoid a government shutdown.

This afternoon, the House passed a temporary two-week continuing resolution that would cut $4 billion in spending and keep the government funded through March 18, buying Congress more time to negotiate the fiscal year 2011 budget. The $4 billion in spending reductions come largely from programs President Obama has also proposed to cut.

It appears that the administration and Senate Democrats are willing to accept the temporary measure.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that Obama called Boehner today before the vote to discuss the CR negotiations. Carney indicated that the administration thought the $4 billion in cuts over the next two weeks included in the House CR were reasonable and indicated that there was room for an agreement.

“We believe some progress has been made.  We believe that there is a focus in Congress now on cuts that we all can agree on,” Carney told reporters in his daily briefing, adding that the White House is interested in looking beyond the temporary measure to a long-term solution.

According to news reports today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters following a luncheon that Senate Democrats would also support $4 billion in cuts, and would vote on the temporary CR in the next 48 hours.

Worried budget watchers can breathe a sigh of relief…at least for now. This two-week reprieve could prove to be all too short-lived if the current spirit of compromise can’t be expanded to cover the rest of FY 2011.

Subscribers to Local/State Funding Report can find more in-depth coverage of the ongoing budget negotiations in the next issue.

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One Comment

  1. redwest
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Your coverage is great. If only Congress took their responsibilities so seriously. While I’m sure there is more to come, this Congress was sent to DC to stop the spending insanity. While we certainly don’t expect fiscal discipline from Obama (as his 2012 $1.1 trillion deficit confirms), $4 billion represents only one third of one percent of that deficit. Yes, I know the $4 billion is being cut from the 2010 budget the Democrats were too cowardly or too inept to pass last fall, but the ratio still offers clear perspective. They clearly haven’t gotten the message yet.

    I still hold out hope that Ryan and his team have high-impact reforms on the horizon for the 2012 budget, but this nickle and dime (or fraction of a penny) approach don’t inspire confidence.

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