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Capitol Hill Update

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As we go to print, House and Senate leaders may be moving towards an agreement over another short-term extension of federal spending through the end of next week.  But to paraphrase that famous Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra, "these current negotiations won't be over 'til they're over!"

Later today, April 7, the House is expected to pass another temporary, short-term measure extending funding for the Federal government for one additional week, while cutting $12 billion in discretionary spending. The stop-gap effort, which is reported to include a series of policy provisions, must also pass the Senate which could prove difficult as one of the policy provisions reportedly restricts the use of certain federal funds for abortions.  These negotiations come on the heels of two previous, consecutive two-week temporary extensions.

Ultimately, all parties must agree to a plan to fund the Federal government for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year ending Sept. 30.  The conflict is that the Republicans want to reduce FY 2011 spending levels by as much as $61.5 billion or more, while Democrats have reportedly offered only $33 billion in cuts to date.

All of this is taking place following the announcement earlier this week by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc., pictured above) of a GOP budget plan labeled "The Path to Prosperity" that, according to Chairman Ryan, "cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the president's budget over the next 10 years."  To read more about the Republican budget plan for Fiscal 2012, click HERE

SHRM's Government Affairs team continues to monitor developments in these negotiations and will keep members abreast in future HR Issues Updates of how the final budget might impact HR and the workplace.

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