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House leaders consider U.S. spending bill below $1 trillion

By Bloomberg News

This article was published February 5, 2013 at 9:39 a.m.

— Republican leaders in the U.S. House are considering a stopgap measure to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year that could drop spending levels below $1 trillion.

The measure, known as a continuing resolution, would fund the government through Sept. 30 at about $974 billion, well below the current level of $1.043 trillion, Rep. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, said Monday.

“It’s a serious cut,” Lankford, a member of the House Budget Committee, said in an interview. “That’s significant.”

While not providing a precise figure, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, said Tuesday in an interview that spending levels will come down.

Lankford said House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, is running through all possible scenarios as two fiscal deadlines near.

Automatic spending cuts stemming from a 2011 budget agreement are scheduled to take effect March 1, and legislation funding government operations expires March 27.

A House stopgap budget that called for deep spending cuts through the end of the 2013 fiscal year would have difficulty passing the Democratic-controlled Senate, posing the risk of a government shutdown when the current spending bill expires.

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