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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 Tuesdays 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 dont 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 Tuesdays 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 Tuesdays 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 Tuesdays 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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