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Democratic Leaders Appear Split on CR

Updated: 6:02 p.m.

House Democratic leaders appeared divided Tuesday morning on whether to support the short-term spending gap measure headed for a vote later in the day that would cut $4 billion in federal spending.

Caucus Chairman John Larson predicted that he would “probably vote in favor” of the measure despite concerns.

The Connecticut Democrat said, “Nobody wants to shut down the government. By the same token, I don’t want to see death by 1,000 cuts.”

But Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra (Calif.), speaking at a Tuesday morning press conference, said he would vote against the continuing resolution.

“At some point the gun will go off and what we are simply saying is you have got to act a little bit more responsibly if you are going to govern,” Becerra said. “I’m not going to vote for this because I’m not interested in having someone say to me, ‘I’m playing Russian Roulette and the American people, the American jobs, the American economy may suffer unless you go my way.’”

It’s unclear how Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) will vote. A spokesman for the California Democrat did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rep. Norm Dicks, ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, was slated to give a presentation about the GOP stopgap spending bill at Democratic Caucus meeting. The Washington Democrat said that it would be up to leadership to recommend Members vote a certain way on the bill.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) strongly opposed a two-week CR on Tuesday, calling it “an extraordinarily inefficient, unproductive, demoralizing, unacceptable way to run the largest enterprise in the world.”

Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) also said Tuesday he is continuing to push for a one-month stopgap spending bill instead of the two-week bill being written by the House GOP.

“That’s reasonable, unless this happens to be a dictatorship, and we’re not,” he said in a brief hallway interview.

Inouye also said he is still working on his proposal for a long-term CR to fund the government for the rest of he fiscal year, but did not set a timetable for releasing it. Democrats are still studying the House Republican plan, he said.

Steven T. Dennis and Jessica Brady contributed to this report.

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