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The House Republicans' latest stopgap is now online at OpenCongress for you to read, mark up, and create custom, section-specific links to so you can have a more detailed discussions of it online:

H.R.1363 - Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, and for other purposes.

The full legislative text is here. Mouse over any chunk of text to add an in-line comment or create a custom permalink to that section that you can use to point others to it. If this bill gets a vote, it will happen sometime before the end of the day Thursday. With the massive amount of program cuts in this bill it's important that the public works together now to review it and find out what it would do before it's rushed to a vote. If you find something that you think might be worth noting, leave a comment to mark it and it will be filtered up to the list of most-commented-on provisions for others to find and review. We'll be highlighting the most noted provisions on this blog as well.

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More Political Stunts as Shutdown Looms

April 5, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

With just four days of government spending authority left, House Republicans are working hard on prepping for a shutdown. It's not clear how hard they're working on preventing one.

Yesterday, the Republican leadership distributed pamphlets "outlining the procedures congressional offices should take during a government shutdown." And late last night they introduced another stopgap, this one designed for political, not legislative, success. The stopgap would last for one week and cut a whopping $12 billion from discretionary spending over that period. In order to protect it from cuts, the Defense budget would be extended for the full fiscal year and increased by $7.6 billion over last year's level.

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In the midst of the conflict in Libya, the disaster in Japan, and the economic crisis at home that's still very much hitting the poor and middle class, a government shutdown could have dour consequences for the U.S. economy. Consumer confidence is already starting to dip and a shutdown could be just the thing to throw consumers and financial markets into a panic that could push us back into another recession. Yet, with just a handful of legislative days left for Congress to pass a budget and prevent a shutdown, Senate Democrats and the House GOP seem to be moving further apart from a deal. Instead of negotiating, they're preparing for the politics of the shutdown, each trying to pin the pain it would cause on the other party.

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Two More Weeks of Federal Government

March 2, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate has followed up on the House's action yesterday and passed a two-week stopgap spending bill that cuts about $4 billion from the current funding level, mostly by eliminating some of last year's earmarks. The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 91-9, with 3 Democrats5 Republicans and 1 Independent-Democrat voting against. President Obama will sign the bill, averting a government shutdown that would have taken place otherwise beginning this Friday. But don't be fooled -- this is a temporary agreement and the negotiations to fund the government beyond these two weeks are extremely contentious. A government shutdown is still the most likely scenario.

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