Government Showdown Looms As Budget Battles Continue

And as lawmakers attempt to find a middle path, issues continue to bubble up surrounding health reform implementation, as well as how and if these efforts will be funded.

Politico: How A Government Shutdown Could Happen
Neither party says it wants a government shutdown. But the path to a compromise is so tricky, neither party can rule it out (Allen and Budoff Brown, 2/22).

Reuters: Government Shutdown Threat Looms Over Budget Fight
The House bill is more than an effort to cut the deficit. Republicans are also trying to use the budget process to starve government programs such as health care and regulation of Wall Street and the environment that they have long opposed (Drawbaugh, 2/21).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Federal Cuts Might Hurt Local Programs
Local governments in metro Atlanta are bracing for cuts as President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans clash over federal spending. Local officials say it's too soon to know the full impact. But they say budgets proposed by the president and House Republicans would mean cuts in block grant programs that have helped pay for homeless shelters in Atlanta, a health clinic in Cobb County, and a senior center in Gwinnett County. DeKalb County is looking to the funds to build a new fire station (Wickert and Davis, 2/22).

The Associated Press: How Many Bureaucrats To Carry Out Health Overhaul?
How many federal bureaucrats does it take to carry out President Barack Obama's health care overhaul? Don't expect to find an easy answer in his new budget. It has no line item for health care implementation, a task delegated to agencies in several government departments, each with its own procedures — and quirks — to account for spending and hiring. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 2/22).

CQ HealthBeat: Funding To Implement Health Care Law Removed From House Spending Bill
The House voted to block implementation of part of the new health care law during its consideration of legislation to fund the government through the rest of fiscal 2011, setting up another major obstacle to any agreement with the Democrat-controlled Senate. The House adopted an amendment, 239-187, to the fiscal 2011 spending bill (HR 1) to prohibit using funds from the Labor-HHS-Education portion of the measure to pay employees or contractors to implement the 2010 health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) (Weyl, 2/18).

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