Government Shutdown Imminent: Pres. Obama Rejects GOP Budget

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Washington — House Speaker John Boehner says congressional leaders and President Barack Obama did not reach a budget agreement following a White House meeting. Boehner says Republicans are rallying behind a short-term cure.

Obama met with Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the top House and Senate appropriators Tuesday in hopes of breaking an impasse in talks to set spending levels through the end of September. Without an agreement by Friday, the government would be forced to shut down.

Boehner said he told Obama that House Republicans are preparing a short-term measure that would keep the government running for another week while extending defense spending through September.

Boehner disputed White House assertions that both parties have agreed to set cuts in spending at $33 billion. Republicans want $61 billion in cuts.

The U.S. House of Representatives ordered all its members to draw up lists of staffers who will be furloughed.

And they have to be in by 5 p.m. Friday, April 8, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), chairman of the Committee on House Administration, ordered his fellow lawmakers in a “Dear Colleague” letter.

The government will run out of money at midnight Friday if Congress can’t reach a deal to pass a new measure to keep the money flowing.

“Should Congress and the President fail to come to an agreement continuing appropriations for the Legislative Branch, non-essential House operations must be shut down effective April 9, 2011,” Lungren wrote.

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