Lawmakers want temporary spending plan done by their spring break

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March 15, 2013, 6:24 am
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(NECN/NBC News: Danielle Leigh) - Senators are preparing to work through the weekend after failing to pass a temporary spending plan for the rest of this fiscal year.

Lawmakers have until March 27 to agree on an extended budget and avoid a government shutdown.

While lawmakers may have until March 27 on that temporary budget, they'd really like to finish by next week in time for their spring break.

Meanwhile, debate over next year's budget is already underway.

In meetings all week, President Obama talked of compromise, but, here on the Senate floor, the real test... Senators stalled progress on a temporary budget by loading it with so many amendments that democratic leader Harry Reid feared it wouldn't pass.

"I have to say...I'm disappointed in a number of my democrats and a number of republicans," said Sen. Reid.

Now, senators will work through the weekend, in the hopes of sending a budget to the House for approval early next week, just in time for Congress to take its two week spring break.

"Come Monday we need to move this bill," said Senator Richard Shelby.

With the rest of this year still in question, lawmakers are already debating next year's budget.

President Obama wants a "big deal" that addresses the long term deficit. He's hoping several sit-downs this week on Capitol Hill put lawmakers in a better mood to compromise

"I think we've had good conversations, but ultimately it's a matter of the House and Senate both caucuses getting together. We'll see if we can do this," the President said.

Republicans have proposed significant cuts to entitlements, which is something democrats oppose. And democrats want new tax revenue, which is a deal breaker for republicans.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell put responsibility back on the President.

"His job is to deliver the members of his party."

For now, lawmakers appear no closer to a deal, but they are more optimistic about the possibility of compromise.

President Obama is taking a break from budget talks Friday and traveling to Illinois where he'll be focusing on another of his priorities: alternative energy.

While talk of compromise is the focus on Capitol, the Conservative Political Action Conference is happening not far away. On Friday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Representative Paul Ryan and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will be among those speaking. The conference has conservatives rallying around their base with deep criticism of the President and his policies coming from at least one GOP senator Thursday. Both parties, so far, are sticking to their guns.

Tags: Senate, Jeb Bush, House, Capitol Hill , CPAC, President Barack Obama, politics, lawmakers, Conservative Political Action Conference, government shutdown, NBC News, danielle leigh, Rep. Paul Ryan, senator harry reid, march 27 deadline, extended bundget, senator mitch mcconnell, senator richard shelby, gov. bobby jindal
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