Three-Week CR in the Works

Posted March 11, 2011 at 10:55am

Senate Democrats are negotiating with House Republicans on a bill that would avert a government shutdown for another three weeks while cutting another $6 billion in spending.

The continuing resolution, which is expected to be announced Friday by House Republicans, consists mostly of items that have already been supported by most Democrats.

“We’re in talks with the House on a three-week CR with $6 billion in cuts, most of which have already been proposed by Democrats,” a Senate Democratic leadership aide said.

Democrats had wanted a longer CR a few weeks ago to give more time for negotiations, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and other Democrats grumbled earlier this week that they didn’t want to do more short-term bills and urged House Republicans to show a willingness to compromise and finish a long-term deal next week. While the two sides remain far apart publicly, Vice President Joseph Biden has been calling leaders and House and Senate negotiators have been trying to find a path forward.

“Negotiations are going on as we speak,” Sen. Benjamin Cardin said Thursday. The Maryland Democrat said negotiations are expected to continue this weekend even though the Senate is adjourned.