House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, would have Congress pass a Continuing Resolution that last only two weeks, in hopes of making time to negotiate the necessary tougher cuts to the Federal Budget. Last week, Boehner proposed such a resolution that would cut $4 billion in spending and delay any threatened government shutdown until March 18. A vote on his proposal could come Tuesday.
About $2.7 billion of the proposed savings would come from rescinding unspent funds, such as water projects and local economic initiatives, earmarked by past Congresses. The proposal would also terminate rural broadband loan subsidies, saving about $29 million. Republicans say this program has been littered with 'abuses' and duplicates efforts elsewhere in the government.
Long-term, lawmakers remain sharply divided over how to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, which is Sept. 30. A House passed bill would cut a total of $61 billion from virtually every federal agency. Democrats argue that such cuts would cripple critical public services, wipe out hundreds of thousands of jobs and short-circuit the economic recovery.