In response to the House budget continuing resolution (CR), H.R. 1, that passed on Saturday, Feb. 19, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday that to avoid a government shutdown on March 4, he planned to introduce a stop-gap CR this week that he can bring to the Senate floor for a vote the week of Feb. 28.
Reid also said Tuesday that he’s asked his chief of staff, David Krone, to begin negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner’s, R-Ohio, chief of staff, Barry Jackson, to shape a “long-term” CR.
The House CR, which includes $61 billion in budget cuts, will run into opposition from the Democratic majority in the Senate. The House CR includes a $41 million budget cut for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The $41 million cut for the SEC is based on the fact that the continuing resolution for the current fiscal year (2010) gave the SEC the authority to spend $1.1 billion. The House Republican resolution for the rest of 2011 would cut $41 million from the earlier appropriation to $1.069 billion.
In a release announcing his plans, Reid said that “to avoid a shutdown and give [Republicans and Democrats] time to negotiate a responsible path forward,” he has asked the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii, to prepare a “clean” CR that he can bring to the floor the week of March 1. “Since this bill is intended to fund vital services like Social Security, our military and border security, it should have no legislation or riders tied to it,” Reid said.
The CR legislation that Reid plans to introduce this week, while Congress is in recess, will include the $41 billion in budget cuts “that Democrats and Republicans agreed to in December, and will keep the government running for 30 days while both sides can negotiate a common-sense, long-term solution.”