Two budget bills are expected on the Senate floor this week. One is the House-passed bill which contains hundreds of provisions, including a proposal to cut federal authority to regulate clean air and water. The second bill is a proposal carried to Capitol Hill last week by Vice President Joe Biden that offers to trim an additional $6.5 billion from federal programs this year. Both measures are expected to fall short of the 60 votes necessary to avert a filibuster. Aides in both parties said that would be progress.
Vice President Biden met with Capitol Hill leaders last Thursday about funding the government through Sept. 30 and averting a shutdown. The White House proposal falls far short of the $61 billion the House voted last month to slash from current funding levels. White House economic adviser Gene Sperling says they're willing to cut further if they can find common ground on a budget that reduces spending in the right way while protecting investments in education, innovation and research.
After Thursday's meeting, Biden said they had a good meeting, and the conversation will continue. However, no further meetings were immediately scheduled. Some Republicans say they are willing to contemplate a compromise but said it was unclear how far they can go without losing support from freshmen members.