Deal Reached

Posted April 8, 2011 at 10:14pm

House and Senate negotiators have reached a deal on $39 billion in spending cuts to avert a government shutdown.

“We fought to keep government spending down because it really will create a better environment for job creation,” said Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) at a press conference announcing the deal late Friday night. Boehner said a short-term spending bill will keep the government open until the final legislation is drafted next week.

The short-term spending bill containing $2 billion in cuts would keep the government open through Friday, said a senior Senate Democratic aide.

The deal on a longer term spending bill would cut $78 billion to $79 billion in spending, the aide said.

In a joint statement, Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) said: “We have agreed to an historic amount of cuts for the remainder of this fiscal year, as well as a short-term bridge that will give us time to avoid a shutdown while we get that agreement through both houses and to the president. We will cut $78.5 billion below the president’s 2011 budget proposal, and we have reached an agreement on the policy riders. In the meantime, we will pass a short-term resolution to keep the government running through Thursday. That short-term bridge will cut the first $2 billion of the total savings.”

The deal was reached after Boehner agreed to drop a rider on Planned Parenthood and Democrats agreed to some minor spending changes.

The short-term CR would give staff time to draft the final agreement and the Congressional Budget Office time to score it — something that often takes several days.

A Democratic aide said the deal on the table isn’t all that different from one Boehner was offered and rejected a day ago.

But Boehner has been under increasing pressure to reach a deal, with some Senate Republicans urging that he drop the Planned Parenthood rider and cut a deal, particularly with the two sides so close and larger fights still to come on the debt limit and next year’s budget.