As Next Govt. Shutdown Looms, Parties Still At Odds On Spending Cuts

Although some reports of progress have emerged from closed-door negotiations, Democrats and Republicans appear to still be at odds regarding whether the current year funding bill should move beyond a "narrow slice of discretionary programs" to include some health programs — including Medicare.

Los Angeles Times: Parties In Congress Still Far Apart On Spending Cuts
A top Senate Democrat said Friday that progress was being made in closed-door negotiations to resolve the budget impasse in Congress, but a government shutdown is at risk if an agreement over wide disparities is not reached in a matter of weeks. … But Democrats want to look beyond the narrow slice of domestic discretionary programs that have been targeted by the GOP. Such programs make up just 12 percent of the budget. It is unclear whether Republicans would agree, in the closed talks, to cuts in such mandatory programs as agricultural subsidies, health or Medicare programs (Mascaro, 3/25).

The Wall Street Journal: Fiscal Showdown Looms In Capitol
Congress returns from a weeklong recess Monday facing an array of budget issues, including a deadline of April 8 to reach agreement on a spending plan for the current fiscal year (Hook and Paletta, 3/28).

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