POLITICO Washington – House Republicans are looking to avoid a shutdown and avoid a $1 trillion spending bill without any concessions on entitlements.
Republicans are seeking to pass a short-term spending bill before the end of the year, and they hope to pass another by early March.
They’re also working to secure a $10 billion spending increase for the Veterans Affairs department, and a $2.5 billion funding increase for research and development.
Democrats have repeatedly called for more spending for education and health care, while Republicans have opposed funding for these areas, saying the cuts are needed to pay for their own spending.
The House passed the short-year spending bill in January, but House Speaker Paul Ryan has resisted the bipartisan agreement to extend the government through Feb. 8, and it didn’t include any provisions for the spending cuts.
Ryan and the House passed a long-term extension in December, but the Senate failed to pass it.
House Democrats are working to block any vote on the long-Term Continuing Resolution until the spending bill is passed, and are pushing to get a spending bill approved before the election on March 5.
“There is a strong bipartisan commitment to continuing the government and protecting the American people, and we hope to have bipartisan agreement on a long term spending plan before the March 5 deadline,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
Pelosi said the Republican plan includes spending cuts to veterans, as well as cuts to food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance and the Department of Education.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he would not vote for the short term spending bill unless the spending package included the $10-billion increase for veterans, but it’s unclear if he would agree to this level of spending.