Posted Mar 2nd 2011 at 8:56 am
From the Associated Press:
The Senate on Wednesday sent President Barack Obama a Republican-drafted bill to trim $4 billion from the budget, completing hastily processed legislation aimed at keeping partisan budget divisions from causing a government shutdown.
The Senate cleared the measure by an overwhelming 91-9 vote that gives the GOP an early but modest victory in its drive to rein in government. Obama has until Friday to sign the measure and keep federal offices open and operations intact. The House passed the legislation on Tuesday.
The measure buys time for Obama, the GOP-dominated House and the Democratic-led Senate to start talks on legislation to fund the government through the end of September.
House Republicans last month muscled through a measure cutting this year’s budget by more than $60 billion, while trying to block implementation of Obama’s health care law and a host of environmental regulations. The White House has promised a veto and it will take weeks or months to negotiate a compromise funding measure that Obama would sign.
The $4 billion in savings comes from some of the easiest spending cuts for Congress to make, hitting accounts that Obama already has proposed eliminating and reaping some of the money saved by earlier moves by Republicans to ban lawmakers from “earmarking” pet projects for their districts and states.