House calendar crimps spending cut plans

Jan. 5, 2011 at 8:11 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The calendar, not politics, may limit U.S. House Republicans' options to pass separate spending bills for fiscal year 2011, congressional aides said.

A continuing resolution that keeps the federal government operational expires March 4, leaving a smaller pool of legislative days to identify cuts and pass spending measures, The Hill reported Tuesday.

During the time leading up to March 4, the House is in session for 23 days and away from Washington for 20, the schedule released by House Republicans indicated. The time line means that the option of 12 separate appropriations bills -- which would present the Republican majority the greatest opportunity to target programs it considers wasteful -- is all but off the table, aides in both parties said.

The calendar indicates House lawmakers are in session for nine days in February and three days in March, which is when the majority of work on a 2011 spending bill likely would occur, The Hill noted. Lawmakers are not scheduled to be in session March 4, the day the funding resolution expires.

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