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Reid's firm stand increases likelihood of shutdown standoff

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSenate passes dozens of bills on way out of town Staff shakeup begins at Dem campaign committee The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (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.”