House overwhelmingly approves stopgap spending measure

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By Sara Wyant

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

 

WASHINGTON, March 1 - In a hard fought victory for the GOP, members of the U.S. House of Representatives approved a two-week stopgap spending resolution Tuesday that includes $4 billion in spending cuts for the remainder of this fiscal year. The overwhelming 335-91 vote came despite opposition from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.  More than 100 Democrats joined all but six Republicans in voting to slash federal spending over the next two weeks.

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The $4 billion in cuts over two weeks is proportional to the roughly $61 billion over seven months that the House GOP approved last month, but Senate Democrats and President Obama had threatened to reject.

House Democrats were split. Pelosi, along with Vice Caucus Chair Xavier Becerra and Assistant to the Leader Jim Clyburn, joined 85 Democrats in voting “nay.” In contrast, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer criticized the short-term package, but voted for it.

"Rather than passing two-week Continuing Resolutions, I urge Republicans to work with us on a long-term solution to reduce the spending we don't need, and to preserve the investments we do need," he emphasized. Hoyer was joined by Caucus Chair Rep. John Larson and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Steve Israel, along with 104 other Democrats in voting yes.

The continuing resolution (CR), would avert a government shutdown on March 4, giving Congress and the White House an additional two weeks to negotiate spending levels for the current fiscal year.

Despite criticism for the measure, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) signaled that the measure would be approved in the Senate.

“Senate Democrats will vote within two days on House Republicans' plan to temporarily fund the U.S. government and avoid a shutdown,” Reid said.

To win support from Democrats, House Republicans included several cuts that the Administration had previously proposed. For a list of those cuts:

http://www.agri-pulse.com/rural_broadband_short_term_continuing_resolution_02282011.asp

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