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Report: House GOP Readies $6 Billion, 3-Week Spending Bill

House Republicans plan to unveil on Friday a new stopgap spending bill that would last three weeks and cut federal spending for that time period by $6 billion, according to a report by The Hill news organization.

The Hill attributes the information to , a member of the House Appropriations Committee and a subcommittee chair.

The current stopgap spending bill was for two weeks and it ends March 18, next Friday.

House and Senate lawmakers, along with the White House, are concurrently negotiating a longer spending package that would cover the remainder of the fiscal year.

But those talks haven't exactly made much progress. In fact, Vice President Biden, who is supposed to be heading up the White House part of the negotiations, is out of the county.

So the short-term spending bills loom large. They are all that stand between us and a dreaded partial government shutdown.

An excerpt from The Hill, with some details that will interest anyone following the public broadcasting funding battle:

The precise cuts in the continuing resolution, which is to be unveiled Friday, have not been detailed.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) said there has been pressure from some House members to include riders in the short-term bill that would, for example, defund public broadcasting or Planned Parenthood, but the committee is not focusing on that at this time.

"It will be a relatively clean bill, I imagine," Simpson said. He cautioned he had not seen the draft...

... One aide said it is unlikely NPR would be defunded in the short-term bill because it is funded two years in advance. Any savings would not be able to count toward the $6 billion total.

The House GOP passed a spending bill for the rest of the fiscal year that contained $61 billion in cuts to discretionary spending. That bill was rejected by the Senate Wednesday and, if it had passed, was subject to a presidential veto threat.

So House Republicans have said they will make their spending cuts in a piecemeal basis, prorating them so to achieve the same proportion of cuts in the short term spending bills that were made in the longer term bill.

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Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.