Budget Talks Heat Up As Shutdown Looms

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Budget talks heat up as shutdown loomsThe budget battle in Washington, DC has entered a critical stage as the current stop-gap measure is set to expire on April 8.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on April 5 to discuss ways to prevent a government shutdown. CBS News reported that Boehner has prepared a one-week continuing budget that would slash $12 billion from domestic spending, which would be a significant increase in cutbacks compared to previous stop-gap measures.

Democrats, on the other hand, have proposed $33 billion worth of cuts in a budget that would fund the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. Boehner said that $33 billion "is not enough," and many of the cuts are "full of smoke and mirrors," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Meanwhile, House Republicans are preparing for a potential shutdown. House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) has been assigned the task of compiling and distributing pamphlets that would provide guidance to lawmakers if a budget is not approved by this weekend, Politico.com reported.

A new poll conducted by The Washington Post reveals that the Obama administration and Republicans in Congress would equally share the blame if a budget compromise was not reached. 

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