Senate, House Leaders Agree on Another Stopgap Funding Bill

BY Quinn Bowman  March 11, 2011 at 6:22 PM EDT

Congressional leaders announced Friday afternoon that they reached an agreement on another measure to fund the government after March 18, delaying any possible government shutdown until at least April 8.

The new measure would cut $6 billion in spending and is expected on the House floor next week. It reaches the $6 billion mark by cutting money to various programs in the departments of Commerce, Labor, Agriculture and others.

House Speaker John Boehner put the pressure on Democrats to make the next move. “The short-term funding measure introduced in the House today will give the American people another round of spending cuts as they wait for the Democrats who run Washington — in the Senate and White House — to determine a position other than the status quo,” Boehner said.

Many of the cuts were already suggested by President Obama or are funds no longer needed, such as $1.74 billion for the already completed 2010 census.

You can read the whole list of cuts at the House Appropriations committee website.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement that the government should not be run three weeks at a time and urged Republicans to compromise on their level of spending cuts.

“It’s too dangerous for our recovering economy and would cost 700,000 American jobs. So, with the clock ticking, it’s time for Republicans to do what they have been avoiding: come to the table with a serious proposal and a willingness to work with us on a long-term budget free of extraneous legislation,” Reid said.

While Democrats have been pointing out that both parties’ proposals failed votes in the Senate this week, Boehner reminded them Friday that the House GOP proposal, which would have brought cuts to a total of $61 billion from 2010 levels, got more votes in the Senate than the approximately $9 billion in cuts proposed by Democrats.

Congress and the White House are trying to work on a compromise spending bill to fund the government until the end of the 2011 fiscal year on Sept. 30.