US House approves 3-week spending bill

© AFP Jim Watson

AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US House of Representatives, held by President Barack Obama’s Republican foes, approved a three-week stopgap spending bill on Tuesday that cuts some $6 billion in government funds.

With a current temporary spending bill due to expire at midnight on Friday, lawmakers voted 271-158 in favor of the Republican-crafted measure, which headed to the US Senate where it was expected to pass.

The White House and polarized lawmakers have been battling over long-term funding of the US government amid near-universal agreement that Washington needs to tighten its belt to reduce its swollen deficit and national debt.

Fifty-four House Republicans — including many backed by the archconservative “Tea Party” movement — broke with their leaders to oppose the measure, joining 104 Democrats.

Eighty-five Democrats joined 186 Republicans to muscle the legislation — which funds the US government to April 8 — to passage.

House Republicans have already approved a measure cutting some 61 billion dollars in spending, but Senate Democrats and some Republicans have said it goes too far, notably in slashing foreign aid programs.

“It’s up to the Senate and the White House to offer a credible plan to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year while delivering the spending cuts Americans are demanding,” said Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney said the measure would give “breathing room” to “find common ground” and negotiate a longer-term compromise and urged Democratic-led senate to approve the short-term bill.

“There is no disagreement on whether to cut spending to put us on a path to live within our means, but we can’t sacrifice critical investments that will help us out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our global competitors to win the future,” said Carney.

© AFPPublished at Activist Post with license

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