No Deal From Latest White House Meeting

April 7th, 2011 at 4:41 pm | 1 Comment |

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The Washington Post reports:

President Obama and congressional leaders failed to reach a deal Thursday afternoon on a spending bill that would avert a looming federal government shutdown, see but the lawmakers vowed to keep working on an agreement ahead of a Friday deadline.

On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, the House of Representatives defied a White House veto threat and approved a one-week stopgap spending bill that Republicans said would head off the shutdown this weekend but that Democratic opponents said contains unacceptable cuts and policy provisions.

The House passed the temporary funding bill by a vote of 247 to 181. Before the vote, the White House warned that President Obama would veto the measure if it reached his desk — an event considered unlikely given strong opposition in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Shortly after the vote, Senate Majority Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) emerged from talks with Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House and said negotiations on a full fiscal 2011 budget deal were continuing, with more meetings scheduled Thursday afternoon and evening.

Following the 90-minute meeting, Boehner told reporters: “There is no agreement on a number, there is no agreement on the policy.” He added, “We are not there yet.”

Reid, standing beside Boehner,said he was “disappointed” that a deal has not been struck so far, “but I am pleased that we are still working on getting there.” He warned that a government shutdown “of no matter how long” would cause economic damage, including a drop in U.S. gross domestic product. “It’s not easy to do, but it’s doable,” he said of efforts to reach an agreement.

He said the two sides would reconvene for another round of negotiations at 7 p.m.

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