WASHINGTON - Siding with congressional Republicans, the White House voiced general approval Monday for a short-term bill that makes immediate cuts in federal spending while preventing a threatened government shutdown.
“We’re pleased that there seems to be some progress and we think we’re moving in the right direction,” press secretary Jay Carney said of a bill that Republicans intend to pass in the House today.
Carney stressed that President Barack Obama opposes a shutdown, a position that lawmakers in both parties also have taken. His remarks were the latest indication that Congress will ensure that funds don’t run out Friday.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California has criticized the Republican bill, which would cut $4 billion while keeping the government funded through March 18.
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In the Senate, Democratic officials stressed last week that Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and other members of the leadership oppose using a shortterm bill to make any cuts in spending.
At the White House, Carney did not specifically say whether Obama would sign a two-week spending bill
The cuts proposed by Republicans would come from programs the White House recommended be reduced or terminated in the 2012 fiscal year, and from funds set aside for earmarks.