The House passed on Thursday a temporary funding resolution that would keep the government open for a week, fund the military through the end of the fiscal year, and cut $12 billion from current funding levels. The Republican-backed bill passed largely on partisan lines, 247-181.
Annualized, the cuts would total close to half a trillion dollars and Democrats have already declared the measure unacceptable. Earlier Thursday, the White House issued a veto threat and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opposes the bill. The government will shutdown if all sides fail to reach an agreement to fund the government before the end of Friday.
Republican leaders portrayed the measure as a means to protect soldiers from losing pay in the event of a government shutdown, but the White House labeled it “a distraction from the real work that would bring us closer to a reasonable compromise,” while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared it a “cynical ploy” to hide behind the troops heading into a shutdown. President Obama suggested he would be open to passing a “short-term, clean Continuing Resolution” instead as a precursor to a final negotiated bill funding the government through the rest of the fiscal year.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.