House conservatives weigh 6-month budget deal

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

House conservatives are considering accepting a deal with Democrats on a $1.047 trillion, six-month stop-gap spending bill to keep the federal government running after the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year, and possibly into a new Congress.

They say they are mulling the idea as a way to deny Democrats the chance to leverage the threat of a government shutdown during anticipated lame-duck battles on taxes and other complex year-end issues.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Wednesday met with Republican Study Committee members to seriously discuss the proposal. A meeting with that group's more than 160 members early in the afternoon will be followed by another between Cantor and a handful of RSC leaders.

Such an agreement -- Republicans say the idea of only a two-month extension at current levels is also under discussion--would be a concession from conservatives. A Republican Study Committee proposal would cut government spending below $1 trillion to $931 billion, but Senate leaders demand the Budget Control Act's $1.047 trillion.

All sides acknowledge there is little chance that a new federal budget will be approved by Oct. 1 since the House and Senate have not agreed upon any of the annual 12 appropriations bills yet.

National Journal subscribers can read more here.

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