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Members Tiring of Short-Term Spending Bills

Republican Lawmakers Say It’s Time to Pass a Long-Term Measure

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House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer suggested Tuesday’s vote on the short-term continuing resolution should give Republicans reason to go to the table to negotiate a compromise on a long-term spending plan.

Correction Appended

Steam is running out for short-term, stopgap spending measures.

“Everybody is going to get tired with these short-term [continuing resolutions],” Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) said Tuesday following House passage of a three-week continuing resolution that funds the government through April 8.

Likewise, freshman Rep. Allen West, who voted against Tuesday’s CR, said it was time to finish a longer-term spending plan and move away from short-term fixes.

“We cannot wait any longer,” the Florida Republican said in a floor statement. “The time has come to have this debate on federal spending and get our nation back on track by cutting spending for the long-term economic restoration of our republic.”

During a closed-door GOP Conference meeting earlier in the day, Manzullo and a handful of other Republicans told leadership that they were tiring of passing stopgap measures and warned that support for them was waning.

Leaders were sympathetic, according to Manzullo.

“I don’t think the leadership wants to see another CR like this,” he said.

The CR approved Tuesday is the second short-term measure in recent weeks, and if approved by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama, it would avert a government shutdown come Friday, when the existing CR expires.

In Tuesday’s vote, 54 Republicans — including 20 freshmen — voted against, while 85 Democrats voted in favor. A total of 104 Democrats supported the previous CR.

Leaders on both sides of the aisle fear that Tuesday’s CR might be the last short-term measure that they can pass. 

Still, as it stands, neither side appears any closer to a deal on a long-term spending plan. Republicans and Democrats are about $50 billion apart in how much they want to cut in federal spending as part of any long-term solution. 

After Tuesday’s CR vote, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer urged Republicans to come to the table. Highlighting the number of Republican defections on the three-week CR, Hoyer asserted that GOP leaders, and Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) in particular, do not have control over their Conference.

“I would hope that Mr. Boehner and the majority of the Republicans would sit down with us and reach a number that is somewhere between where they think we have offered and what Mr. Boehner offered initially to the crowd that has now abandoned him,” Hoyer said. “I would hope we have a conversation very shortly ... so we can get beyond this cycle of irrationally trying to fund the largest enterprise in the world on two- to three-week cycles.”

Republican leaders countered, insisting that the onus is on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to pass a long-term spending bill through his chamber so that talks can begin.

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