House Republicans Release Two-Week CR With $4B In Proposed Cuts
"House Republicans late Friday afternoon released a two-week continuing resolution [CR] that cuts more than $4 billion in federal spending," Roll Call reports (Stanton, 2/25). "Under the proposal, the law now keeping the government open would be extended two more weeks, until March 18 ... In the interim, House and Senate leaders would try to negotiate a broader plan to finance the government at reduced levels through Sept. 30," the New York Times reports. Republican leaders trimmed programs in education, transportation and other areas "that President Obama had previously sought to close down" (Hulse, 2/25). "The plan, scheduled to hit the House floor Tuesday, includes $1.24 billion in program terminations and $2.7 billion in earmark terminations, according to a summary provided by the House Appropriations Committee," CQ writes (Goldfarb/Young, 2/25).
"Senate Democrats indicated they would be willing to go along with the proposal despite their insistence earlier [last] week that any temporary measure should be free of spending reductions," the New York Times reports, noting that the CR appeared to reduce the "prospect of an imminent federal government shutdown" (2/25). Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union that the CR is "clearly headed in the right direction" but still needs work, according to National Journal. "I think this two-week business is not the way to go. I think there should be a longer-term agreement, hopefully through the end of the year," he said. "As for whether the House GOP plan is viable, however, Conrad said: 'It is acceptable to me to have $4 billion in savings in a two-week package. Sure. The makeup of that is up for discussion and negotiation ... I'm confident we'll achieve conclusion on that,'" National Journal reports (Madigan, 2/27).
Jon Summers, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), in a statement said the proposed CR "sounds like a modified version of what Democrats were talking about," Roll Call writes. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called on Reid to quickly pass the measure after it's done in the House. "The House is doing its part to cut spending and avoid a government shutdown; it's time for the Senate to take action as well," Boehner said in a statement (2/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.