Federal shutdown once again threatens

Lawmakers have until March 18 to reach a compromise on spending measures

Funding the federal government for the rest of this fiscal year remains uncertain as the Senate has rejected separate spending proposals from Democrats and Republicans.

The GOP bill, which would cut spending this year by an estimated $61 billion, lost by 44-56, while the Democratic budget alternative to cut $6.5 billion failed by 42-58. Both votes took place March 9.

The current short-term spending law will keep the government operating until March 18. If Congress doesn’t approve a funding bill before then, the government will shut down.

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“There is no disagreement that we have to cut spending, which is why we have already agreed to meet Republicans halfway and have indicated our willingness to do more,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said after the votes. “But, we need to ensure we cut responsibly, and that we don’t undermine growth and competitiveness by cutting investments in education and research and development.”

The Obama administration opposed the Republicans' continuing resolution (H.R. 1), which passed the House in February, arguing that its programmatic cuts were too deep.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have met with congressional leaders from both parties, and are urging them to come to a compromise to “avoid a government shutdown that would harm our economic recovery,” Carney said. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) signaled in floor comments March 10 that Democrats are willing to make sacrifices to reach a consensus with Republicans.

“It’s time to get down to business,” Reid said, according to The Hill. “My Republicans colleagues set the deadline and the responsibility of meeting it as much yours as mine. It’s time for all political posturing to end.”

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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Reader comments

Tue, Mar 15, 2011

I'm glad at least the turtles have a bridge so they can cross the road safely, and HUD houses and projects in San Fransisco will have WI-FI. I wonder if there's room under the bridges around here? Because if I get furloughed, I may lose my house (which I have never missed a mortgage payment on...)and have to live under one.

Mon, Mar 14, 2011 U13

BALANCING BUDGETS FOR DUMMIES - Cut welfare before cutting wages. Roll back budgets to prior years until the budget balances with income. If everyone worked and everyone paid, there would not be a deficit.

Mon, Mar 14, 2011

how are the men and women of the armed forces who rely solely on their income as the compensation recieved for the job we do, sustain ourselves if we cant get our paychecks which by the way we risk our lives for.

Mon, Mar 14, 2011

When no Country buys our Treasurys we will have no income stream other than what we pay in taxes. We are exceeding ourability to generate income and soon even if we take every cent earned it will only be enough to pay all the interest due to our lenders and then even that eill be exceeded. Each day we borrow 4 Billion dollars to spend because we do not have enough money in Uncle Sam's wallet. When no one will buy our treasuries there will be NO social security, Medicade, Medicare. The Highspeed Money Train will have nothing to power money deliveries to the states, or itsself. Maybe while the Govt is shut down someone can drill for OIL.

Mon, Mar 14, 2011

Ok, so they want to fix the budget mess they have before them. Start with the elimination of all PORK - both sides period. Next, contract debarrment - implement and enforce - no exceptions! Next, ensure that when economic times are tight, the pay and benifits of all government employees (congress and military included)are capped/frozen. Finally, implement a flat tax of 15%, everyone pays it and there are not dedections, exemptions, or credits given to anyone period. This will result in the eliminiation of tax loopholes and streamline the accouting and revenue reporting for all. If we can swallow these large pills, we can get better.

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