GOP spending plan plays better with Dems than conservatives

House Republicans unveiled a three-week continuing resolution Friday that funds the government through April 8 and cuts $6 billion in spending.

Senate Democrats immediately signaled that they could accept the measure, which includes proposed spending cuts backed by the White House.

But three conservative groups said they opposed passage of another short-term spending measure, and warned they would negatively record votes in favor of it. 

The House is set to vote on the measure on Tuesday. If it does not move forward, the government would shut down after March 18.  

The measure includes funding rescissions, reductions and program terminations totaling $3.5 billion, according to a press release from the House Appropriations Committee. Twenty-five programs are eliminated or reduced.

All of these cuts were previously included in President Obama’s 2012 budget request; a spending bill backed by Senate Democratic leaders that was defeated Wednesday on the floor; or come from programs that have expired, such as the 2010 census.

The bill also eliminates $2.6 billion in earmarked spending from a range of agencies, according to the release.

The bill does not contain provisions demanded by social conservatives, such as language defunding Planned Parenthood. That decision drew a rebuke from the Family Research Council, one of the three groups that called on lawmakers to oppose the measure. 

"In 2008, Planned Parenthood vowed to spend $10 million to elect pro-abortion Democrats,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said. “In return, Planned Parenthood was handed a healthcare bill that includes abortion funding as well as access to a slush fund containing billions of tax dollars.

“The time to bring our fiscal house in order is now, and defunding organizations that work against the principles of a majority of Americans needs to be done to show that this Congress is serious,” Perkins concluded.

Heritage Action and the Club for Growth joined the Family Research Council in condemning the measure. Club for Growth President Chris Chocola accused fiscal conservatives of walking into a trap.

“When the debt ceiling debate happens in a few weeks, the big spenders will offer a so-called 'compromise' in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and giving them a series of new credit cards," he said in a statement. "Such a 'deal' would be a complete sellout of America’s taxpayers, who deserve major spending reductions and structural reforms that will solve our debt crisis. Rather than going down that road to disaster, fiscally conservative House members should insist on more than a short-term CR now.”

The language on the continuing resolution was worked out in advance with Senate Democrats, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) praised it in a statement.

“I am glad that we were able to come to an agreement with Republicans on a three-week continuing resolution made up of cuts already proposed by Democrats that will also be free of any ideological, special-interest legislation," Reid said. "However, we can’t continue to run our government two or three weeks at a time."

Democrats and Republicans remain about $50 billion apart on how much spending should be cut this year, and each side is pushing the other to take the next step. 

“The short-term funding measure introduced in the House today will give the American people another round of spending cuts as they wait for the Democrats who run Washington — in the Senate and White House — to determine a position other than the status quo,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a release.

He added that “the burden remains on the Senate and White House to come forward with a coherent position that will facilitate discussions leading to enactment of a long-term measure that cuts spending.”

Reid said: "With the clock ticking, it’s time for Republicans to do what they have been avoiding: come to the table with a serious proposal and a willingness to work with us on a long-term budget free of extraneous legislation."

Obama at a press conference on Friday urged both sides to come together on an agreement. 

Here's a complete list of the program terminations and reductions, according to the House Appropriations Committee.

1.    Preserve America (National Park Service) = -$4.6 million.
2.    Save America’s Treasures grant program (National Park Service) = -$14.8 million.
3.    Climate Effects Network – Science Application (U.S. Geological Survey) = -$10.5 million.
4.    Greenhouse Gas Cap and Trade Funding (EPA) = -$5 million.
5.    Local Government Climate Change Grants (EPA) = -$10 million.
6.    Targeted Airshed Grants (EPA) = -$10 million
7.    Construction Funding Rescission (National Park Service) = -$25 million.
8.    Wildland Fire Suppression Rescission (U.S. Forest Service) = -$200 million.
9.    Single Family Housing (Department of Agriculture) = -$144 million.
10.    Customs and Border Protection - Construction (Department of Homeland Security) = -$107 million.
11.    Emergency Steel Loans (Commerce Department) = -$48 million.
12.    Public Telecommunications Facilities and Construction (Commerce Department = -$19 million.
13.    Census Rescission (Commerce Department) = -$1.74 billion.
14.    Career Pathways Innovation Fund (Labor Department) = -$125 million.
15.    Community Service Employment for Older Americans (Labor Department) = -$225 million.
16.    State Health Access Grants (Health and Human Services Department) = -$75 million.
17.    Flu Funding (Health and Human Services Department) = -$276 million.
18.    “Parklawn” Building Lease (Health and Human Services) = -$35 million.
19.    Corporation for Public Broadcasting = -$50 million.  [called for by Senate Dems]
20.    Internet Technology Funds (Social Security Administration) = -$200 million.
21.    Brownfields Redevelopment (Housing and Urban Development Department) = -$17.5 million.
22.    Railroad Safety Technology Program (Federal Railroad Administration) = -$50 million.
23.    Chief Administrative Officer – Salaries and Expenses (House of  Representatives) = -$1.5 million.
24.    Library of Congress - Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission = -$0.75 million.
25.    International Fund for Ireland (State Department) = -$17 million.

This story was first posted at 3:56 p.m.