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Lawmakers Pass Another Short-Term Budget Fix

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Lawmakers agreed March 11 to a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government for three weeks past the previous CR deadline of March 18. This short-term CR, which expires April 8, is expected to be considered by the House this week.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., who introduced the CR, said this second short-term funding extension to prevent a government shutdown would be a holdover while congressional negotiations continue on a long-term plan to keep the government running through the end of the fiscal year.

A government shutdown is not an option, period,” Rogers said in a statement. “While short term funding measures are not the preferable way to fund the government, we must maintain critical programs and services for the American people until Congress comes to a final, long-term agreement.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (left), D-Nev., said in a statement that while the cuts in the three-week CR includes those “already proposed by Democrats that will also be free of any ideological, special-interest legislation,” Congress cannot continue “to run our government two or three weeks at a time.” While it’s “crucial that we avoid a government shutdown,” he continued, “continually resorting to stopgap spending bills is bad long-term policy and could be bad for our economy.”

On Tuesday, March 15, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., will discuss at the American Action Forum’s event on budget reform the Commitment to American Prosperity Act, or the CAP Act, which Corker introduced on Feb. 1. The CAP Act would force Congress to dramatically cut spending over 10 years by capping all spending–discretionary and mandatory–to a declining percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), eventually bringing spending down from the current level of 24.7% of GDP to the 40-year historical level of 20.6%.