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Senate set to kill parties’ competing spending-cut bills.
House Republicans said Tuesday they will likely have to write another short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown on March 18, as a deal over funding the final seven months of the fiscal year remained elusive.
Senators are scheduled to vote Wednesday on two competing proposals: the House Republicans’ plan, which includes $57 billion in new cuts from 2010 spending levels, and the Senate Democrats’ proposal, which draws the line at $4.7 billion in new cuts. But both sides acknowledge those votes will be mostly to show that neither bill can pass.
“We want the American people to know that [the House bill] is dead. And we’ll get there,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.
But the path beyond those votes remains murky.
Neither side is prepared to give in, and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., tapped last week to lead negotiations, is out of the country.
With the current funding expiring on March 18, House Republicans said they lack faith the Senate will act in time. So they are preparing another short-term spending bill to keep the government open.
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