Shutdown Showdown

Feb 23, 2011 10:32pm

ABC News' Jonathan Karl Reports:

Congress is in recess (or, as they call it, “District Work Period”), but there are ongoing negotiations between senior staff for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on a spending bill to keep the government running after March 4, when current funding for the government runs out.

The bottom line: talks are not going well.

Republicans, of course, have passed a bill that includes $61 billion in cuts over the next 7 months. Senate Democrats have proposed a bill that includes no cuts, but instead maintains current spending levels for one month to give the two sides time to work out a deal. Neither side wants to budge.

Now Republicans are crafting a temporary bill to keep the government running for two weeks (again to allow for negotiations on the larger bill). The two-week bill, however, would include $4 billion in cuts (which on a pro-rated basis, would amount to $60 billion over seven months). Democrats are already calling this unacceptable.

The two sides have had several hours of talks since yesterday, but, for now, the negotiations are off.

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