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Reid Will Accept House GOP's Two-Week Budget Extension

3:49 PM, Mar 1, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Time's Jay Newton-Small reports

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just told reporters that he will accept House Republicans' two-week extension of government funding that comes with $4 billion in cuts. The House is debating the bill right now and is expected to pass it this afternoon. Reid says he will push that measure through the Senate "in the next 48 hours." Without congressional action current government funding lapses on Friday.

Of course, a big fight remains to be fought this month over the budget for the rest of fiscal year 2011: 

The stopgap agreement does little to resolve the underlying conflict. Republicans want to slash $61 billion from the seven months remaining in the 2011 budget. While Democrats agree that cuts are needed, they argue such precipitous chopping would be dangerous not only to the fragile economic recovery but to specific programs such as port security, poison control and meat and drug inspections. The$4 billion in cuts in the short-term bill are mostly bipartisan proposals endorsed by Obama, such election assistance grants, the Smithsonian Legacy Fund and $1.24 billion in previously passed earmarks.

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