Congressional leaders last weekend talked down the possibility of a government shutdown, as a March 4th deadline looms. March 4th is the day that the current stopgap spending measure expires. The stopgap spending measure enables the funding that enables the government to continue functioning.House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) was among a number of prominent Republicans who appeared on the Sunday chat shows to address the budget impasse:
“We are not looking for a government shutdown, but at the same time we are not looking at rubber-stamping these really high, elevated spending levels that Congress blew through the joint two years ago,” Ryan said. “We don’t want to accept these really high levels of spending while we negotiate how to continue funding the government.”
Sen, Kate McCaskill (D-MO) appeared on another Sunday chat show to say that an extension of the current stopgap spending measure was necessary to prevent a government shutdown. She says Democrats are willing to accept some budget cuts to prevent a shutdown.
Round and round they go. The National Journal’s stalwart budget reporter, Humberto Sanchez, is the go-to guy for all the details. The likelihood that the two parties can negotiate a compromise prior to March 4th seems…unlikely.
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