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Government shutdown avoided

Last night, after months of negotiations and a near-government shutdown, Congress and the White House reached an agreement on the 2011 fiscal year continuing resolution. The agreement is a two-step process. Right after midnight this morning, the House and the Senate passed a stop gap measure, averting a government shutdown and funding the federal government for six more days while cutting $2 billion in those six short days. Then, early next week, both chambers will vote on a complete funding bill for the remaining agencies that will cut $39 billion from the 2010 levels. All said, House Republicans have secured $79 billion in cuts from President Obama’s budget proposal for FY11. The agreement also cuts funding for abortions in the District of Columbia, assures an up or down vote in the Senate on both cutting funding for Planned Parenthood and on defunding ObamaCare, and cuts some of the allocated funds for ObamaCare. Below is Congressman Westmoreland’s statement. ’After months of negotiations and a near-government shutdown, a deal has been reached and House Republicans have secured a total of $79 billion in cuts from the president’s 2011 budget proposal. We heard the American people and their demands to stop the spending binge in Washington, and I am proud to announce that House Republicans have delivered the largest annual spending cut since World War II. ’In addition to this historic level of cuts, the agreement also gives the American people two big victories when it comes to repealing ObamaCare. First, it guarantees an up or down vote on repealing ObamaCare in the Senate. This legislation passed the House earlier this year, but Senate Democrats had refused to bring it up for a vote. Second, it includes cuts to funding for ObamaCare, making it harder for the Obama Administration to begin enacting this unconstitutional law before the Supreme Court has an opportunity to rule on it. All of this while also preserving the sanctity of life by banning taxpayer funded abortions in the District of Columbia and guaranteeing an up or down vote in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood. ‘Now, I know there may be some of you out there who are not happy with this because it doesn’t cut enough. I feel your frustration and am also disappointed that we were unable to reach our $100 billion goal. However, I could not in good conscience vote against funding our troops and I truly believe this is a victory for the American people. This is a good first step to put us back on a path of fiscal responsibility and it lays the groundwork to show Senate Democrats and the White House that we mean business. ’We still have a lot of work to do and battles like this one will become more and more common as we begin debate on the 2012 budget, repealing ObamaCare, and dealing with the debt ceiling. I want to reassure you that I will continue to fight tooth and nail to fulfill my promise to you to right this ship, get our fiscal house back in order, and enact real spending reforms. As long as House Republicans continue to listen to the American people and demand more spending cuts, I know we will continue to be successful,’ stated Westmoreland.

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