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Shutdown Looms as Talks on Stopgap Budget Fail

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NY Times
April 5, 2011

WASHINGTON — Congress and the White House veered toward a fiscal collision on Tuesday as the Obama administration rejected a short-term House Republican demand to cut $12 billion now in exchange for keeping the government open for one more week, while the Republicans’ budget chairman set forth a longer-range blueprint defining a new era of profoundly smaller government and steep tax cuts for corporations and individuals.

“We are changing the dynamic here,” said Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, as Republicans made clear that they had no intention of backing down on more cuts in current year spending and would frame the fight over next year’s budget in similar terms, while also including profound changes in mandatory entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which they derided as “autopilot” programs.

As the news circulated that a White House meeting had produced no deal between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama, Senator Charles Schumer, the number three Democrat in the Senate, said that if a shutdown is in the offing, the blame should lie at the feet of Republicans. “A deal with $33 billion in spending cuts is right there for the taking,” he said in an email. “But the House leadership will need to stand up to the Tea Party.” Democrats also denounced the Republicans’ long-term proposal.

House Republicans on Tuesday, in a move calculated in part to draw support from their Tea Party wing by offering steep cuts in taxes and spending in future years, unveiled a far-reaching budget proposal for next year and beyond that cuts $5.8 trillion from anticipated spending levels over ten years and is likely to provide the framework for both the fiscal and political fights of the next two years.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 10:00 am

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