Good morning... House prepares to cut the budget

The House gaveled in at 10 a.m. Tuesday, but will not take up the business of the day -- passing a two-week spending bill -- until noon.

The House is expected to approve the spending bill in two votes: one on the rule, H.Res. 115, and another on the spending resolution itself, H.J.Res. 44. Final votes are expected by 4 p.m., as Republicans want to get the bill to the Senate today so it can approve the measure this week, before the current spending resolution expires on Friday.

Passage seems increasing assured in the House, as Democrats are largely standing down in their opposition to the bill. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has registered some opposition to the bill, but did not put forward a Democratic substitute amendment that would have been voted on today. Senate Democrats also appear ready to pass the bill in order to ensure funding for the government after this week.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Monday night said they oppose a longer-term spending bill for the rest of FY 2011, but the extent to which these members might oppose the bill today is unclear.

And in a Whip Notice this morning, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) urged a "no" vote on the rule, but importantly did not make a recommendation to vote against the spending resolution itself. Instead, the notice seemed to take a middle ground position, by noting that the GOP bill includes some cuts that President Obama supports, but does not include "any kind of plan to create certainty or jobs in the economy."

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