Republicans Pitch Unusual Backup Plan as Fragile Budget Talks Resume
Published March 30, 2011
In the latest gambit out of Washington's head-spinning budget debate, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced Wednesday that if the Senate fails to act by next week, Republicans will proffer a bill forcing an earlier House GOP plan that did not pass Congress to become the "law of the land."
The proposal outlined Wednesday would be an unusual and likely unconstitutional move. Under the bill, the $61 billion budget that passed the House last month and subsequently went nowhere would go into effect if the Senate does not approve a budget by April 6. Plus, it would provide that in the event of a shutdown lasting more than 24 hours, members of Congress and President Obama wouldn't get paid retroactively for the days the government was shuttered.
The proposal is meant to put pressure on the Senate to give Congress some kind of spending plan to work with so that the government does not arrive empty-handed on its April 8 deadline without a budget, forcing lights out.
But the proposal raises all manner of constitutional and practical questions.
First, it would effectively deem a prior bill passed, even though it did not clear the Senate or win the president's signature. Second, it's unclear why or whether Republicans think the Senate and president would accept the so-called "Government Shutdown Prevention Act" when they didn't approve the initial House plan.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011...#ixzz1I7QnHzU1