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Congressional Republicans say President Obama's proposal to cut $6.5 billion in government spending for the rest of the fiscal year is a nonstarter--too close to the status quo to be meaningful. GOP leaders met with Vice President Joe Biden Thursday to hash out a compromise, and Biden said talks will continue. But they only have till March 18 to reach a deal to avoid a government shutdown--and both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner described the White House's opener as "unacceptable" and "indefensible." Meanwhile, Senate Democrats offered a plan to cut $6 billion from current spending.

House Republicans have passed a budget with $61 billion in cuts, which Democrats say is way too much. McConnell said Democrats were just playing politics, National Journal's Billy House and Humberto Sanchez report, saying “Democrats' whole approach is to see what they can get away with, rather than to actually do something about the debt and jobs crisis Americans want us to address."
Jamie Dupree offers some highlights of the Senate Democrats' plan. Majority Leader Harry Reid wants the Senate to vote on both plans next week.

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