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Posted at 9:28 AM ET, 03/ 3/2011

House budget chairman Ryan: More stopgap spending measures possible

By Felicia Sonmez

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday that it's possible that Congress will take up more stopgap government funding measures instead of a longer-term one when a resolution keeping the government running expires later this month.

Speaking Thursday morning at a breakfast sponsored by National Journal, Ryan said that he could "possibly" see Congress passing a series of short-term measures.

Ryan's statement comes as the White House and leaders of both parties have come out against using a series of short-term funding bills to keep the government running.

President Obama, who on Wednesday signed into law the stopgap measure that will keep the government funded through March 18 and cut $4 billion from programs his administration has already targeted, said in a statement after Wednesday's Senate vote that "we cannot keep doing business this way."

Also on Wednesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) urged Congress to pass a longer-term measure instead of "short-term band-aids," and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that Senate Democrats are "going to draw a line here; this is not the way to govern."

The White House has called for congressional leaders to meet with Vice President Biden, Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew to negotiate a way forward on a measure that would keep the government funded through September. But the path remains unclear, as House Republicans and Senate Democrats are at odds over how much to cut from federal spending.

Also at issue are several dozen riders that passed the House two weeks ago and are included in the lower chamber's plan to cut $61 billion through the end of September. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Wednesday that the riders, which include measures on such hot-button issues as defunding Planned Parenthood and the national health care law, would be dead-on-arrival in the Senate.

On Thursday, Ryan said that House Republicans understand that there's a difference of opinion on the riders but did not offer any specifics on how lawmakers might address them.

"We realize that we control one-third of the decision making body here," he said, adding that "what I hope to get out of this is as low a spending number as possible."

Asked what kind of compromise he sees the House and Senate coming to on the longer-term spending measure, Ryan said that it remains unclear. "I really don't know the answer to that question, where are we going to split the difference," he said.

He also reiterated that House Republicans plan to tackle entitlement reform, including Medicare reform, when they propose their fiscal year 2012 budget in April, calling the fact that Obama's proposed budget did not do so "disturbing."

"Everybody thinks that we're afraid of the politics of this," Ryan said. "We've got to get beyond that. ... We have a moral obligation, a responsibility to stand up and do what's right to solve this country's problems."

By Felicia Sonmez  | March 3, 2011; 9:28 AM ET
 
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Comments

Just curious, if congress plans to spend most of the year playing games with short term spending bills, when do they plan to meet their obligation to pass all 2012 appropriation bills by October 1st? Oh that's right, they are federal employees, why would we think they can do anything right.

Posted by: dem4life1 | March 3, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"Oh that's right, they are federal employees, why would we think they can do anything right."

They happen to be the people you and I voted in to make these decisions.

Now what does that tell you about us?

Posted by: josh13 | March 3, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

MR. RYAN......
A BALANCED BUGET IS VERY POSSIBLE ........

We need revenue that "our elected" representatives, including Mre. Ryan, just will not address and it's there!!
THINK ABOUT THE FOLLOWING, if possible with an open mind!!

Has either political party had the "guts" to considered or do any of the following???:

Eliminate tax deductions given to certain large corporation that have not paid any taxes in years. Like Bank Of America, Price WaterhouseCooper, ITT, Bechtel, Boeing, and GE for example.

Eliminate those Oil Subsidies for these large international oil companies.
These profitable companies pay almost no tax & get help from out tax dollar.

Eliminate all those tax & tariff reductions plus "breaks," that Congress voted large companies that are taking American jobs over seas. Also, just mirror the tariffs & taxes that countries like China, Japan, South Korea and the European Countries are putting on American goods & services.

Rein in the large Banks & Wall Street firms by reenacting The Glass-Steagall Act; it just might bring some order into our financial institutions and markets. Oh yes this worked until it was eliminated under President Clinton.
Of course these financial firms do not want this done.

Plus just so Congress shares in the pain, just eliminate the special health care & retirement plans that Congress voted itself. Social Security can be stabilized if Congress was part of it and stopped raiding it!!

So far all I see is cuts that would hurt the middle class ........ if this continues, there will be no middle class to "put the burden" on. Then what??

Whatever happened to that government by the people for the people?
It seems to have vanished........ guess we would need lobbyists to throw money at these career politicians!!

We now have a Cashrarocy, instead of a Democracy in this country.
The best government that the moneyed can buy!!

Oh the uncollected taxes from the above sources are estimated to be about 14 trillion dollars!!

So Mr. Ryan do you really have the interest of this country in mind or is it something else??

Posted by: bkarpus | March 4, 2011 6:48 AM | Report abuse

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