Republicans pitch two-week budget extension
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican leaders in the House of Representatives on Friday proposed to avoid a looming government shutdown with a two-week extension of funding that includes $4 billion in spending cuts.
Democrats want any stopgap measure, needed to avert a shutdown by March 4, to not include spending cuts as the parties hash out legislation to fund the government through the rest of the year.
Without a deal, much of the federal government will close, unsettling financial markets and risking massive layoffs.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called the Republican plan a good faith offer and put the onus on Democrats for any potential shutdown.
“We don’t want to shut the government down. This is not an acceptable or a responsible option for any of us … but we want to see spending cuts,” Cantor said.
Republicans will detail the spending cuts later on Friday.
Cantor said they will include cuts to programs that President Barack Obama has said he wants to end as well as the elimination of earmarks that are in the budget as it stands.
(Editing by Eric Beech)