Reid's firm stand increases likelihood of shutdown standoff

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday declared he will oppose any government stop-gap funding measure that reflects spending levels set by House Republicans.

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Reid’s firm stand, which matches the staunch position of House GOP leaders, increases the likelihood of a government shutdown standoff in the fall.

Reid declared he has no interest in continuing government funding at a level that abides by the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, which total about $100 billion per year to defense and non-defense programs.

When asked if he would support a continuing funding resolution that maintains sequestration, Reid said, “I can’t speak for other Democrats — I wouldn’t.”

He warned that keeping government funding levels at post-sequester levels would have dangerous consequences for the U.S. economy.

“Let’s see what the House winds up doing. I think it would be a disaster for this country and I would do everything within my ability to oppose that,” he said.

A Democratic aide said Reid is objecting to the decision of House Republicans to restore defense funding to pre-sequester levels and paying for it by cutting non-defense domestic programs.

“They bust through the Budget Control Act on the defense side and bring defense numbers to the pre-sequester levels,” said the aide of the House GOP spending bills. “They do that by cutting everything else down to far below post-sequester levels.”