House Republicans say they have a proposal to prevent a government shutdown, but Democrats are unlikely to get behind it so it's more of a political maneuver.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced Wednesday morning that there will be a vote this week on a bill that would stop the salaries of the president and congressional lawmakers in the event of a government shutdown resulting from an impasse on the budget. Under the legislation, a previously passed House bill that cuts $61 billion from the remainder of the fiscal year would become law in the wake of a government shutdown. Democrats oppose the size of the cuts in the House GOP plan and blocked it in the Senate.
"Passing this bill would at least keep the government open," said Laena Fallon, a spokeswoman for Cantor. "This bill would also ensure that if there are ever any future government shutdowns that Members and the President do not receive their pay for such periods. We are hopeful that this proposal will urge the Senate to act instead of play politics with a shutdown. Funding the government at the levels passed by House Republicans might not be what [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid wants, but surely even he would agree that it's a better alternative than shutting down the government."
Democrats, meanwhile, say they've already made an offer to Republicans, one that would meet them nearly halfway on the cuts they want. They say Republicans are resisting the compromise because their conservative faction is pressuring them to hold out for bigger cuts.
"Our proposal still stands," Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday. "My hope is that the Republican leadership recognizes that they can't continue to be pulled to the right by a radical, unrealistic, unreasonable and unpopular faction. If they want to move the country forward, they can't let the Tea Party call the shots."