House speaker John Boehner has released a statement jointly with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
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 rider banning funding of abortions in the District of Columbia (a long-standing policy known as the Dornan amendment) is a part of this deal, but the Planned Parenthood defunding was not included. The House will vote on that issue separately, after which the bill is likely to be voted down in the Democratic Senate.
For now, however, the government will remain funded for at least the next six days.
While the possible government shutdown means most federal employees, from the National Park Service workers to those handling your tax returns at the IRS, won't be coming into work, some bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are going to keep punching the clock. At the department's website, HHS has posted its shutdown contingency plan for its employees. Here's the relevant part for the department's Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight:
Earlier today, Senate majority leader Harry Reid said during floor remarks that he would support a "clean" short-term spending bill passed by the House, and President Obama indicated later that he would sign such a bill. The problem, Reid said in a press conference later, is all of the "riders" the Republicans have included in their measure to fund the government for one week and the troops for the rest of the fiscal year. Reid said the dispute over riders boils down to two issues: "women's health" and "clean air."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is busy scaremongering about the prospect of a government shutdown if the Democrats don't agree to Republican budget cuts:
Closing our government would mean our men and women in uniform wouldn’t receive their paychecks, and veterans would lose critical benefits. Seniors wouldn’t receive their Social Security checks, and essential functions from food-safety inspection to airport security could come to a halt.
Congressional Democrats engaged in more saber rattling today over concerns House Republicans will shutdown the government if Democrats don't agree to some pretty significant budget cuts. The continuing resolution funding the federal government expires on March 4:
Senior Senate Democrats slammed Republicans on Sunday for a "reckless" threat to shut down the government as political posturing intensified on both sides over federal spending and the budget deficit.
The House of Representatives approved legislation on Saturday to cut federal spending by $61 billion through September. But The bill, pushed through by Republicans, was sure to be significantly changed by President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats in the Senate.