House Republican leaders, miffed that Senate Democrats won't take up their larger fiscal 2011 budget and lead budget negotiator Vice President Joe Biden's abandonment of spending talks, now plan to pass another two-week to four-week continuing resolution before the government shuts down. The new "CR" will include "proportional cuts" equal to the $4 billion in the last CR. [See a slide show of 10 Effects of a Government Shutdown.]
And it probably won't be the last, say leaders. With each new CR there will be more cuts, according to House Whip Kevin McCarthy. "Each time we're going to go at it taking small bites," he said, blaming Senate inaction on the larger budget for the piecemeal approach. Talking to reporters at a breakfast roundtable, McCarthy vented at Senate Democrats for failing to provide a direction they are willing to go on the cuts.
He also slapped the White House for not leading in the debates and for Biden's foreign trip right after starting larger budget talks. "You can't just have the vice president leave," complained McCarthy.
He wouldn't detail what would be cut in the upcoming CR but said there are more than enough programs to hit. And he promised to make cuts "so we don't lose ground" on the over all plan of slashing $61 billion in fiscal 2011. "I think the American people expect that."
Reaction later today in the Democratic-controlled Senate was cool to more short-term budgets. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that he was "personally opposed" to another short-term measure to keep the government funded. "It's all short-term now," Reid said, noting that there are less than seven months left before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.