Policy Priorities

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BUDGET WATCH: THIS WEEK...

March 9, 2011

Senate rejects House-passed spending bill and alternative proposal by Senate democrats

This week… the Senate voted down two vastly different budget proposals to fund the government through the remaining fiscal year (September 30, 2011). The bill already passed by the House that cuts spending from current levels by about $57 billion was defeated by the Senate with a vote of 44 to 56, as was the alternative proposal from the Senate Democrats which would have cut $4.7 billion, by a vote of 42 to 58.

The stark differences between these bills will now become the subject of negotiations between the House and Senate as they work to reach a final seven-month bill or another short term Continuing Resolution or “CR” (the current two-week CR expires on March 18). The House-passed measure is primarily based on cutting stimulus spending and returning to 2008 spending levels, and it contains deep and devastating cuts to many critical programs affecting children and low-income families. The smaller spending cuts proposed by the Senate Democrats come primarily from the President’s original 2011 budget (never enacted), and are far less harmful to vulnerable populations in terms of magnitude and targets.

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