Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) rejected a proposal announced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday for a bill that would extend 2010 spending for one month while lawmakers hash out differences over 2011 spending.
“The House has passed legislation to keep the government running until October while cutting spending," said Boehner, referring to a bill passed by the House on Saturday morning that cuts more than $60 billion to the budget. "If Senator Reid refuses to bring it to a vote, then the House will pass a short-term bill to keep the government running — one that also cuts spending."
Last week, in a press conference, Boehner stated unequivocally that his caucus would not accept even a short-term extension that did not include deep cuts to government spending.
Reid said his one-month extension would mirror cuts proposed by the President Obama that he says equal about $41 billion over the course of a year.
Meanwhile, with less than two weeks to go until the current budget expires on March 4, the Senate remains in recess with no concrete plans to take up the spending bill passed by the House.
The Senate returns on Monday, Feb. 28, with plans to take up patent reform legislation, confirm two executive nominees, and hear a reading of George Washington's farewell address, which is over 6000 words in length.
How or when Reid's proposal reaches the Senate floor still remains a mystery. Despite multiple requests for information from The Hill, Reid's press office has remained uncharacteristically silent since the announcement of the proposed extension on Tuesday.
One obstacle to Reid's proposal could be a common interpretation of the Constitution that designates the House as the only place from which bills dealing with government spending are allowed to originate.
Reid could circumvent that rule by attaching his proposal to the spending bill that came to the House as an amendment in the form of a replacement before sending it back. Senate staffers who are working Patent Reform legislation, however, told The Hill earlier today that they have received no indication from leadership so far indicating that their legislation will be postponed in favor of deliberation on the budget.