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Archive for Friday, April 7, 2006

House budget collapses amid GOP feuding

April 7, 2006

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— House GOP leaders failed Thursday to deliver a $2.8 trillion budget blueprint, sending lawmakers home for the Easter holiday and possibly into the fall election with deficits on the rise and no plan to contain them.

Opposition to the plan among Republican moderates and a power struggle between a faction of conservatives and the GOP-controlled Appropriations Committee forced party leaders to pull the measure or face a humiliating defeat.

In the face of opposition from Democrats, they chose the former, but said they hoped to revive a revised plan when Congress returns from a two-week recess.

Efforts to produce a compromise with the Senate on a $70 billion package of tax cuts also faltered, and House leaders abandoned hopes to pass it today before leaving town.

Democrats gloated.

"Our Democratic unity was very eloquent," said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, of California. "It was a sign of strength, and Republicans had to back off."

Republican leaders had tried to mend the budget rifts, but rival factions dug in Thursday, battling over domestic spending, procedures for passing disaster aid and funds set aside for lawmakers' pet projects.

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