House GOP Unveils New Stopgap Funding Bill; Long-Term Solution Lags
On Monday night, House Republicans released the legislative text for a new stopgap continuing resolution bill (HR 1363) that would fund the federal government for an additional week and ensure that the Department of Defense remains funded through September, the Washington Post's "2chambers" reports.
The new stopgap measure -- the seventh this fiscal year -- would cut $12 billion in discretionary spending from current levels across a range of federal programs, and block local and federal funding for abortions in the District of Columbia (Sonmez, "2chambers," Washington Post, 4/5).
The new package would give lawmakers more time to overcome an impasse in negotiations for a longer-term FY 2011 CR and provide the military with more financial certainty as Congress works on a deal (House/Sanchez, National Journal, 4/4).
House GOP leaders said another stopgap bill is necessary to avert a government shutdown on Friday, when the current stopgap CR is set to expire (Hooper/Berman, The Hill, 4/4).
Background on Budget Negotiations
In recent weeks, lawmakers have been unable to reach a compromise on the amount of spending cuts to health care and other federal programs in a longer term CR.
Although White House officials and other Democrats last week signaled that they were close to a deal with Republicans on the next CR, lawmakers seemed to be stuck in an ideological divide over whether to add some of the policy riders in the House-passed FY 2011 CR budget bill (HR 1) to the new spending package, including the two that would defund the overhaul and block funding for Planned Parenthood (California Healthline, 3/30).
On Saturday, President Obama attempted to accelerate the negotiations over the longer-term CR during phone calls to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) (Sonmez, "2chambers," Washington Post, 4/2).
According to a White House statement, Obama referenced the impasse over the inclusion of policy riders, stating that the administration continues "to oppose efforts to use this process to further an ideological agenda on issues that have nothing at all to do with reducing spending or reducing the deficit" (Sherman, Politico, 4/2).
According to Politico, Obama previously hinted that he would veto another stopgap measure, but he might be forced to relent because it could be too late to approve a longer-term package by Friday (Rogers/Bresnahan, Politico, 4/4).
The Hill also notes that the House is scheduled to adjourn for a two-week recess on April 15, creating a deadline for talks between Democrats and Republicans (The Hill, 4/4).
Obama To Meet With House, Senate Leaders Today
On Monday, White House press secretary Dan Carney announced that Obama has invited Boehner, Reid, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) to a meeting on Tuesday at the White House to discuss a path forward on funding the government.
During his daily press briefing, Carney said Obama "is concerned that we need to reach a final agreement," adding, "It's a good time, a very good time, for these senior leaders to come together and assess where we are and make some decisions about whether or not we can make a final agreement," adding, "[Obama] believes we can do it, and we are close" (National Journal, 4/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.